October 09, 2011 06:02 PM by Candace Young
Tonight, Extreme Makeover Home Edition travels to Ty Pennington‘s home state of Georgia, where they will surprise the Rucker family in Madison. 9 year-old Anaiah Rucker was hit by a truck while pushing younger sister, Camry, to safety back in February. Extreme Makeover Home Edition has come to help them with a new accessible home. Orlando Magic player Dwight Howard stops by to help out this week. Keep reading for highlights…
Mom, Andrea, recalls the morning of Anaiah’s accident as the episode kicks off. Anaiah suffered massive injuries, had her leg amputated, has undergone extensive rehabilitation, and is wheelchair-bound. Extreme Makeover Home Edition plans to build them an accessible home free of obstacles, in which straight-A student, Anaiah, can continue her studies – she plans to one day become a lawyer or doctor.
Grandmother, Angeline, explains what a new home would mean to the family. Andrea has struggled to look after Anaiah, and had to give up her own studies toward a nursing degree. Despite the challenges, Andrea still volunteers for the local Boys & Girls Club. Anaiah loves basketball, and tells Ty Pennington her favorite player is Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic.
Ty explains that the community has donated a plot of land to build them a new home on. They all take the bus to the spot, where the volunteers and Pilot Builders are waiting to greet them. Ty tells the Rucker family they are going to the Walt Disney Resort in Florida for the week!
While the designers get underway with ideas for the house and the girls’ bedrooms, Ty tours the old house and learns that it isn’t safe for anyone to live in. He contacts the family, who are having a blast with Phineas & Ferb in Disney World to tell them the old house will be torn down, while the new house is being built on the donated property. They can build on the land in the future if they like.
Ty enlists Phineas & Ferb‘s help to take down the old house using a shrink ray! The Rucker family watches with delight from Florida.
As the build continues, Terry, the man who was driving the truck that hit Anaiah, comes forward to help out and speaks to Ty about how much the accident still haunts him. Ty thanks him for coming out and puts him to work on some projects.
As Xzibit checks out a splash pad idea, Ty learns the kids at Anaiah’s school made bottle cap necklaces to raise money for her family. He presents the design team with a huge amount of bottle caps and asks them to come up with ideas to use them.
Ty contacts the Rucker family in Florida and tells Anaiah he wants her to meet Katie Holloway, an amputee who plays college basketball and on the Paralympic Volleyball team as well. Anaiah meets up with Katie in a sports complex. Katie surprises her by calling out Dwight Howard. Anaiah is thrilled.
Michael Moloney is working on a circular bookcase which will rotate for Anaiah to access books easily on her own. The other designers admire it. Ty gathers the volunteers together to contact the Rucker family and let Anaiah hear from some people who have been inspired by her, and who have worked to raise funds to help the family. Loretta Barryman, who performed CPR on Anaiah on the scene and saved her life, is given recognition, and Michael tells the family they’ve made 10,000 bottle cap necklaces to be sold.
When the Rucker family returns, Ty gives truck driver Terry a chance to say a few words to the family. Andrea tells him it wasn’t his fault, and thanks him for staying to help her daughter. Katie and Dwight are on hand for the chant to move the bus.
Anaiah sobs as she sees her new home for the first time – she says she loves it. They get a chance to thank the Pilot Builders who welcome them home. Anaiah and Camry are both told they have a scholarship for four years at college. Andrea will also get free tuition to return to school and finish her nursing degree.
Inside, Anaiah is thrilled to see a life-size version of one of her paintings. Camry throws herself onto the red sofa. Ty comes in and demonstrates how the revolving bookshelf works. Camry gets to see her ‘zoo’ room and declares this the best day of her life!
Anaiah also loves her new room. Ty shows her all of the creative elements – including a drawing canvas incorporated into the design of her bed. She also has an accessible bathroom of her own with a lowered counter and mirror. It’s so spacious, Camry, Paige, and Anaiah set to styling Ty’s hair with pink bows in there. Andrea checks out her bedroom with Michael before going to see some more house.
In the backyard, Xzibit shows off their playhouse, splash pad, and a waterproof wheelchair for Anaiah. Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard lets the family know he has donated $50,000 to their family to help with medical expenses. Ty welcomes the Rucker family home.
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