SAN ANTONIO -- Hopes and prayers are answered, after months of heartache for an Alamo Heights High athlete and his family. Eddie Moreno, 17, was paralyzed in a road rage shooting incident in March. Volunteers are remodeling the home, with a complete overhaul to accommodate Eddie's disability when he comes home from the hospital.
After seeing the original story on News 4 WOAI, dozens of local donors stepped up to help. Friday, demolition began.
With tools in hand, Eddie's high school basketball teammates, along with other friends and family, got to work on a grueling job. They began tearing down walls and ceilings.
A home with 30 years of memories was torn apart -- just like the Moreno family, who was torn apart because of one person's violent actions. The shooting left Eddie Moreno permanently paralyzed from the neck down.
"I wouldn't want it to happen to anybody, but why did it have to happen to Eddie?" asked Brandon Garcia, one of Eddie's teammates.
"He had a life," said Eddie's 14-year-old brother, Ryan Moreno. "He was going to go to college. He was going to be a coach."
For Ryan, the demolition took on special meaning.
"I felt like I was getting a lot of anger out," said Ryan, holding a demolition crowbar. "I've had so much built up in me, I've been taking it out on the wrong people."
As volunteers worked, fiberglass got in their eyes and burned their skin. Boards fell on their heads, and nails scratched their legs. But nothing could stop them from getting the job done.
"This is for my brother," said Ryan. "And he was the closest thing I had. So i'm going to do whatever it takes to bring him home."
"Operation Bring Eddie Home" ignited a flood of volunteer support from the community.
"WOAI was running a story, and I saw it on the news," said Matthew Dawson, a local author who stepped up to help coordinate the renovation efforts. "My heart bled. I mean, I started crying."
"We came out here and we said look, we'll get it done." said Sam Garcia, foreman with Reasonable Remodeling. "For Eddie? We'll get it done."
Garcia was impressed about how much effort the volunteers put into the demolition.
"They came in here with their hearts forward," said Garcia, choking up. "They went through it like a hot knife through butter."
The renovation project is expected to take three months.The family is still in need of a couple, very important items to bring Eddie home:
1) A back-up generator (for Eddie's life-saving ventilator)
2) Electrical Wiring (to support Eddie's medical equipment needs)
To contact the family, click here.