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  Pitching in with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to Create the Perfect Home for Tennessee's " Hero Mom"

On April 7, 2006, an F3 tornado ripped through Hendersonville killing 9 people and leaving a huge path of destruction through the small community just outside of Nashville. As the storm bore down, Amy Hawkins received a telephoned warning from her husband Jerrod, a firefighter, so she fled to the basement with her two children in tow. As the house came down around her, Amy threw her body over her children to protect them from the falling debris. When the storm was over, Jair, 6, and Cole, 3, escaped with minor injuries, but their brave mom suffered serious injuries, which have left her paralyzed from the waist down.

After extensive rehab, Amy was finally released from an Atlanta hospital in July, 2006, but came home to an empty lot where the Hawkins home once stood.That is when her neighbors joined together to assist the family. The local Rotary Club presented them with a van equipped with a wheelchair lift, and a local bank collected donations. Meanwhile, a petition was circulated to bring the family's plight to the attention of ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Over 50,000 signatures were collected as the community rallied around the family. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition rose to the challenge and began to plan a special home for the Hawkins, including a pool and spa combination in the backyard where Amy can enjoy aquatic exercise. More and more, it has been realized that aquatic therapy is particularly beneficial for those who have the most difficulty getting into and out of pools.

Engineers David Nolan, Lee Holmes and Justin Watkins designed the two custom lifts for the pool and spa. Nolan, Watkins, and shop supervisor Bill Robinson installed the lifts at the Hawkins home. The lifts for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition are always built on short, and very critical, deadlines. All of the employees at Aquatic Access played a part in a team effort to get the lifts built correctly and off to the construction site in time for the unveiling of the home.

The Hendersonville lifts were the third and fourth lifts built by Aquatic Access for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. See the lifts donated in 2004 by clicking on the year.


Extreme Makeover: Home Edition appears on ABC, Sundays 8/7c and aired the Hawkins segment on Sunday, October 8, 2006. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Sundays 8/7c on ABC.

About Extreme Makeover: Home Edition:

"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," which has won back-to-back Emmy Awards as Best Reality Program (non-competitive), is in its 4th season on ABC. The program is produced by Endemol USA, a division of Endemol Holding. Denise Cramsey is the executive producer; and David Goldberg is the president of Endemol USA.

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Rev. 7/27/09