Like I was saying, I received a call from Joe and he asked me to design a home, only there were a few catches. One, the home design had to be completed in 24 hours. Two, I wouldn't know who the house was being designed for until after it was done. And three, there would be no compensation for all my hard work. It was to be considered a donation.
At first I thought it was a joke. I almost hung up on him! I've been through a few practical jokes in my time and I thought this was one of them. But instead, I listened to what he had to say, then prayed about it and talked with friends and family. And in the end, I decided to do it.
I presented the plans within the required time, all my I's dotted and T's crossed. It was only after I finished the plans that Joe Pusateri with Elite Homes revealed to me that the home design was for Patrick Henry Hughes and the Extreme Makeover Home Edition, to be aired in February of 2008. On the 17th of that month, ABC premiered the two-hour episode documenting the demolition and reconstruction of the Hughes’ house in Louisville, Ky.
The show was contacted by his peers from the University of Louisiana through a huge letter writing campaign organized by his marching band. Over 2,000 letters were sent urging them to take action since he was living in a house that was unfit for a wheelchair bound person.
Looking back, I can see I made a difference in one mans life. That makes me feel good. I designed something that was both beautiful and functional, and the person I designed if for was overjoyed that he could live in a home that was truly original, with the amenities he so desperately needed.
Aside from pushing my design talents to the extreme (pun intended), I was humbled by the experience.
It's one I'll never forget.