Christina Hall's Most Emotional HGTV Renovation Of All Time

HGTV's "Christina in the Country" host, real estate expert, and designer Christina Hall is committed to home makeovers — even those projects that negatively impact her health. But for Hall and her team alike, one transformation hits closer to home than the rest. After all, a home renovation is more than just a building remodel. It's transforming someone's most intimate environment — their safe space, recharging station, and keeper of memories. 

So, it's unsurprising that these makeovers are often highly emotional, cathartic experiences. This is especially true of a remodel Hall undertook at the behest of her publicist and long-time BFF, Cassie Schienle. Schienle proposed the idea to Hall on behalf of her sister-in-law, Jessica Waldron, who had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. 

Hall and Schienle sat down with People to discuss the difficulties the "Christina in the Country" crew faced with this particularly moving remodel and the bittersweet joy they found within the grief-laden experience.

Hall was tasked with adding accessibility to a family's home

Per the ALS Association, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a fatal motor neuron disease that impacts the communication between the brain, spinal cord, and muscles. Consequently, those with ALS lose control of their voluntary muscle movements and, eventually, their ability to eat, speak, move, and breathe. As Jessica Waldron's ALS progressed and she became wheelchair dependent, she could no longer navigate her home independently. 

Christina Hall's main goal for the Waldron family home's remodel was relatively straightforward: make the house — notably the kitchen and primary bathroom — more accessible so that Waldron could still enjoy some independence within her diagnosis. Hall recounted her monthly check-ins with the Waldron family to People, describing the experience as extremely difficult. 

"We saw Jessica's health continue to decline," she recalled. "I could see how much she was trying to be present and smile, but I also saw the fear and hurt behind her eyes. The last time we were together to shoot a scene, I had to pretend to walk away and talk to someone about the project when in reality, I was in another room having a panic attack."

Hall used the project as a way to celebrate Waldron's life

Tragically, the moment Christina Hall described would be the last time she ever saw Jessica Waldron. Waldron passed away before she could see Hall's project come to fruition. She is survived by her husband, Damon, daughter, Reese, and son, Gray. After her passing, Hall and Schienle continued their efforts to create a home the family could heal in and enjoy for years to come. Additionally, they wanted to continue raising awareness of the deadly disease. 

"To be able to turn to my best friend in a moment when not only I needed her help, but my family needed her the most — I am forever grateful to Christina," Cassie Schienle told People. "When Jessica passed, Christina and her team jumped into overdrive. The home is absolutely beautiful and exactly what Jess and Damon envisioned for their family."

Hall said that even though Waldron never got to see the crew's remodel, she was proud of the work the team accomplished for the family. Though it was difficult to join the ranks of other HGTV stars who have suffered heartbreaking losses, Hall and Schienle considered the project a beautiful celebration of Jessica Waldron's life and the legacy that lives on through her family.