On September 11, 2001, Thomas helped rescue two police officers trapped in the debris from the fallen twin towers. Though he risked his life, he kept his identity a secret, as he felt he deserved no special recognition for his act of bravery. Thomas was living on New York's Long Island at the time of the attacks. When he heard the news, he skipped his criminal justice class, grabbed his Marine uniform and headed for the twin towers to help. With another rescuer, he saved the lives of two Port Authority police officers, then disappeared to the next task at hand.
His role came to light when he recently saw the trailer for the film World Trade Center, which featured the police rescue. Neither New York authorities nor the film's producers had been able to locate the man who identified himself at the site only as "Sergeant Thomas," and the film portrayed him as a white man, though he is black. When reporters tracked him down, he hesitantly came forward with his story. Now he is celebrated all over the country.
This hero served his nation in its time of need. Now it's up to Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to serve this family with a new home that's strong and safe. Ty also travels to New York City's Ground Zero, where he has an emotional meeting with police officers John McLaughlin (played by actor Nicholas Cage in the film) and Will Jimeno, the two men Jason saved and the last two people to be pulled alive from the rubble.
In addition, emotions run even higher when the construction doesn't go as smoothly as planned. Ed Sanders cuts his hand while using a saw and, much to his dismay, the dedicated and tireless carpenter is forced to drop his work and rush to the emergency room, leaving the team a man down. The designers must pull together and work extra hard to not let Ed and the family down. Will Ed recover in time to make the final reveal?
While the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition design team, local builders National Home Builder M/I Homes, contractors and hundreds of workers and volunteers are building a dream house for the family in a remarkable seven days, the family will go on vacation to Walt Disney World.