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Saturday, July 26, 2014

'Extreme Makeover' episode featuring Hall family airs

Denise Neil
The Wichita Eagle

Carl Hall and his family — and a whole lot of Wichita — were in the national spotlight Sunday when ABC aired the episode of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” that it filmed here in late February.

Hall, a former Shocker baseball star who was paralyzed in a car accident last summer, joined family, friends and local volunteers on Sunday evening for a watch party at the Orpheum Theatre, where he saw the episode that featured the creation of his new ranch-style house at 11026 W. Hollywood Court.

Details about the house had been kept secret by the family and by ABC until the show aired, but local and national audiences now know that the house includes an indoor gym, a batting cage that Hall can control using his breath, and high-tech voice controls that allow Hall to open doors, turn lights on and off and more.

The house also includes an elevator as well as equipment that allows Hall to bathe, sleep and move about his house more quickly and independently.

The show featured shots of Hall at Koch Arena, being inducted into the Shocker Hall of Fame during half-time of a basketball game. The episode featured several shots of Wichita State University’s mascot WuShock.

It also included an announcement that the baseball fields near Nelson Elementary School in Haysville, where Hall grew up playing baseball, had been renovated and renamed The Carl Hall Family Sports Complex.

The show portrayed Hall as an upbeat, joking father who is doing his best to move forward with life. The episode was full of tear-jerker moments, including a recounting of the accident that left Hall paralyzed and interviews with Hall's wife, Stacey.

The show's design team added several personal touches to the house, including a wall in the master bedroom that was decorated with a romantic yearbook inscription Carl Hall wrote to Stacey when they were in high school.

Those who missed the episode can still watch it online at abc.go.com.

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