Extreme Makeover: Home Edition-The Burns Family-11/28/04
In Garden Grove, California we meet the Burns Family. Jerry and Ellen have three kids Pam, Jeff and Ben. Ben has a disease commonly known as brittle bone disease. The official name is Osteogenesis imperfecta. He has broken over twenty bones. They often break for no reason at all. The family was initially accused of abusing Ben before he was diagnosed and the charges of abuse were dropped. Jerryís sister, Diana, lives with them to help watch out for Ben. She takes him to and from school to gueard against accidents that might injure him. But this family is worried about him at home too. The house just is not set up for his needs. He often walks on his knees so that he will not slip, fall and break another bone or two. This extreme guarding of Ben provides for a less spontaniously fun household. He knows that he needs softer surfaces around the house but just has no resources for that. The team is ready to do what it takes to help this family.
The design team lines up on the lawn and calls the family out in the usually bullhorn style. After the meet and greet the family finds out that they will be spending a week at a San Diego spa and resort for much needed rest and relaxation. The tour of the house got underway and Ben led them through at top speed on his knees. The team could hardly keep up. Ben(6) and Jeff(16) share a room. It is time for them to get their own space.
The master bedroom has an outdated waterbed. Jerry really loves his bed and is reluctant to part with it.
Pam wants to be a fashion designer but knows that she can not afford the design school she wants to attend.
Diana has her own small room that needs updating as well.
The house is simply bursting with six people in it. They need more space, but the priority is to soften every surface for Benís benefit.
The family is ushered off in the limo and the team gets down to work. They invited in an architect, Karen, who has the same disease as Ben thus gaining instant insight of his needs. Karen approves of their efficient design and reminds them to include safe but fun features in the home. The team is up for the challenge.
Back from commercial we get a peek at the family luxuriating at the spa while Tracy tells us how wonderful Ben is. Our next view is of the contractor and his crew. They are ready to bring down the house, but Ty thinks they need a little more help. He brings in the Dwarfs from Disneyland and they all get down to work. The house is quickly disassembled with the help of this motley crew. The Dwarfs are really digging in. Preston is doing his part by throwing baseballs through the windows. The family views it all via Tycam with amazement. Ty tells them that they have annual passes to Disneyland waiting for them and they are thrilled.
Jeff loves guitars. Preston and Paul are revved up to decorate the entire room in musically inspired furniture. Tracy adds to the effort providing giant guitar picks to be used in the room. I can not wait to see what they come up with for this great teenager.
Michael has a great idea for a special door from Benís room straight to the family room so he does not have to travel clear around the house to get to the room that is directly on the other side of the wall. The entire team loves the idea.
Tracy grabbed Preston away for a covert operation. She took him down to Angel Stadium to steal third base. They are planning to incorporate it some way into Benís room. Note here that the stealing of the base is the only thing that my son remembers about this episode. He has talked about it way too much. I tried to explain that stealing the base was a play on words and how the team probably gave it to them just for Ben. He was convinced that they had totally gotten away with the heist and none of the Angels found out.
Tycam reveals to the family that Ty is insane. Yes, we already knew this but Ty proves it again by filling the waterbed beyond capacity and it explodes to Jerryís dismay. The man loves a good waterbed. Me thinks he will have an even better one soon.
Tracy and Michael make the obligatory trip to Sears for goodies.
Day five brings beautiful cork floors that will be great for Ben to travel around the house. The contractor is practically in tears when he tells us that the floor crew simply skipped out. The bums thought that it was not a very important job and did not show up at all. Ty asks the crowd for volunteers. Several of the people gathered had skills that they happily put to good use. Others just jumped in and learned while they worked. One lady knew how to tile and could use a wet saw and all. Cheers to the wonderful crowd that lent much needed hands.
Tracy was busy padding the walls with special gel while Michel and Ty found unbelievably cushy furnishings. Paul got super soft rubber floors ready for Benís bedroom. Ty was not sure if the plush furnishings were soft enough. He recruited Mr. T to throw him into the pile of beanbags to test. T even called the family and assured them that the house was looking good. Ben ate it all up. I pity the fool that does not do all they can for this boy. I wonder if Mr. T was also put on the trail of those deadbeat flooring guys.
Jeffís room is rockiní with all the guitar goodies being installed. He should love the special touches lavished on his room. It is really shaping up to be a beauty.
Ellenís spoons show up and Paul tells us he did not quite get the idea of collecting spoons. Once he looked through all of them the ideas grew and he really began to appreciate them. He has grand plans for this hodgepodge of silverware.
Ty takes care in Pamís room, but is not ready to reveal all the bells and whistles in there. The last of the furnishings arrive and all the finishing touches are set in place. The family rolls up in style and the crowd roars. Everyone is ready and the Bus rolls away. Astonished, Ellen does not even react. She is just taking it all in as her family takes in the beauty of itís exterior.
Ty welcomes them to the front porch and tells them of the easy access to the house. They all walk through the front door and marvel at the interior. Ellen finally shows some emotion when she sees the entirety of her spoon collection beautifully displayed on one wall underneath one giant spoon.
Ty explains how handrails and cork padded soft wood floors are in every room for safety and the house is opened up for easy access. They rounded off most of the corners so there is nothing to run into. AOL hooked the family up with broadband service in every room in the house.
Jeff is thrilled with his guitar room and most of all loves his very own guitar. He takes it all in utter surprise.
Diane loves her new room. She declares it gorgeous and says she never dreamed of such a room for herself.
In the master bedroom Jerry and Ellen discover that their waterbed has been replaced with a new and improved king sized version. The stylish room suites them both.
Ben enters his room and discovers every nook and cranny. He crawls up on his bed and tests out all the cushy surfaces. He gets a look at his own special escape hatch leading directly into the family room. Everything he sees gets an enthusiastic reception. This is one happy boy.
Ty takes Pam to her room and she is touched by how perfect it is. There are luxurious fabrics still in rolls making up the headboard of the bed. Ty shows her the sewing machine that is hooked up to the computer. She can design the item and send it to the smart machine that will teach her how to stitch it. Then Ty hands her the scholarship to The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. She and her parents are so grateful for the opportunity that otherwise would not be afforded her. Tears are abundant.
Next is the backyard. The pool and sandbox are exquisite. The pool is set up for safety and ready for Ben to maximize his therapy. Ben loves them both and Ty cannonballs into the water to test the temperature.
The one thing that I think thrilled Ben more than anything else was when Ty opened the garage. He was not excited about the ton of tools lining the walls in their own tool chests. He cheered over a hundred boxes ready for his designs. The family and the team all drug them out of the garage and waited for direction from Ben on where to put them. He was happy to oblige. Who knew that they could forego the demolition and construction of the entire home and just give the boy a mountain of boxes?
That is it for this week. Join us next week as the stock of Kleenex goes up yet again.