Season 5 | Episode 512 | Aired 01/12/2008
Ten-year-old Kayla Woodhouse feels no pain, and this precarious rare condition can kill her. It was diagnosed in 1997 when Kim Woodhouse took her second child, then 14-month-old Kayla on a trip to the playground, and she passed out without any particular reason. Her doctor discovered that Kayla was one of the 25 diagnosed people in the world to suffer from Hereditary Sensory Autonomic Neuropathy, a rare neurological disorder that lowers sensitivity to pain and temperature. In other words, Kayla's cooling functions -- sweating -- don't kick in until her body reaches a lethal high temperature. Her skin is overly dry, and she doesn't feel pain until it's 20 to 30 times the normal intensity. The doctors said if Kim had taken Kayla out in the hot Louisiana sun more often, she might have died. Kayla also suffers from severe allergies. She can only go outside to play after sundown, which means she is forced to stay inside their home most of the time. She can't run and swing and jump rope outside like normal 10-year-olds because there isn't enough room in their house.
The Woodhouse family relocated to frigid Alaska in the hopes to decrease any reoccurrences that Kayla might face. Their experiment proved to be a failure when they found their daughter running outside without shoes or socks in 15 below weather. They were advised to settle in the more southern states and to visit special doctors that might be able to help Kayla's chronic disease. In 2005, after the Woodhouses had finally settled in Colorado Springs, CO, the family's financial situation took a turn for the worse as the extensive trips to the doctor sprung forth even larger medical bills.
With nowhere to go, and no money to help, the Woodhouse family has been living with friends at a retirement home. This has led to thousands of people petitioning and the local media nominating the family for help. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition has heard the call and faces the challenge to build an industrial strength well air conditioned home for Kayla and her family.
While Ty and the designers, local builder Premier Homes and hundreds of volunteers and workers are rebuilding their home, the Woodhouse family will go on vacation to a Hilton hotel in Ft. Collins, Colorado.