Garth Goodwin is part of the team who helps to construct the rolling billboard you see on every episode of Fixer Upper—the moment when Chip and Joanna Gaines excitedly yell their popular catchphrase, "Are you ready to see your fixer upper?"
The firefighter and Waco, Texas, resident has never met the shiplap-loving couple and home reno extraordinaires. He’s also never been a cast member of their hit TV show. Yet, off duty, he was largely responsibly for creating the rolling picture frame associated with the weekly reveal of a newly-remodeled house. As it just so happens, assembling a billboard was exactly what Goodwin was working on the day he was severely injured.
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According to Texas' KBTX, on May 10, after finishing work on a prop for Fixer Upper, Goodwin went to McGregor, Texas, to complete another billboard project. Unfortunately, when his tools came into contact with exposed electric wires and a power line, he was electrocuted and fell nearly 13 feet from the billboard’s platform, which left him paralyzed from the chest down. Of course, Goodwin didn’t want to put any more strain on his family than was absolutely necessary—considering they were already caring for his only child, 19-year-old Cutter, who was born without a portion of his brain. So his firefighter friends quickly went to work, wasting no time coming to his aid. Their first act of goodwill? Reaching out to local contractor Wes Waller of UBI Products.
In an interview with Fox News, Waller stated the firemen asked him for assistance with erecting a house. Via Facebook, Waller asked people to donate their time, money, and materials to build a handicap-accessible home for Goodwin. And the Waco community answered. "Within a week, 80 percent of the house was donated," Waller said.
The only thing left was the costliest expense of them all—the lumber. Cue Chip and Joanna. Yes, the same couple responsible for customizing and constructing dream homes each week on HGTV have now made a dream come true off camera as well.
Once the Gaineses got wind of the big-ticketed lumber issue, they offered to purchase the supplies for the project—all done, we should add, in private. They, along with the kind-hearted residents of central Texas and Waller’s famous cousin and country singer Wade Bowen, have all played an integral part in ensuring work begins on Goodwin’s home this week.
"It's just like that picture in the restaurant when you're working to connect the dots," Waller said. "Chip and Joanna connected the dots for us."
"All of us at the Waco Fire Department are thankful for Chip and Joanna and everyone that has stepped up to help our friend and his family," said colleague Jay Jeffrey. "The positive impact they are making for Garth, Lisa, and Cutter is immeasurable."
If you're interested in donating to help the Goodwin family, please visit their GoFundMe page here. Donations are greatly appreciated!
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Waller hopes to have Goodwin and his family moved into their new home by Thanksgiving. Just one more thing they can all be grateful for.