Mother goes all out on Halloween decorations for homebound son
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A mother in San Jose has gone all out with her Halloween decorations this year. It’s for a good reason: to bring joy to her son who is homebound with special needs and to the neighborhood.
Over the years, Shelly Jimenez has decorated her home in Willow Glen for Halloween. This year, her yard has no more room.
"Being shut in for so long I really built a lot this year and outdid myself," said Jimenez.
The reason for the over-the-top decorations that rival any clown store is her 26-year-old son Christopher. He was born 26 weeks premature with brain damage. He also has cerebral palsy, terminal lung disease and since we last met him in 2019 is now blind.
"Unfortunately he’s not able to see the display anymore and not able to see the bright lights that he loved," said Jimenez.
He can hear and feel the props. Christopher’s circumstances would discourage a lot of mothers to give up but not Jimenez, who added more festive props near his new wheelchair ramp.
"I had a soft spot in my heart for this family," said Doug Fernandez, Fernandez Design & Builders.
Fernandez is the contractor who built that ramp this year. It would typically cost thousands of dollars. He did it for free.
"I said sometimes people need a break in life," said Fernandez. "They persevere through the thickest storm that one can imagine."
"It just means so much for someone to just do something like that," said Jimenez.
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Neighbors said Jimenez’s decorations have become a fixture.
"It’s just become a thing that people come and see from all over the neighborhood, far way, stopping, taking pictures," said Neighbor Jake Saber.
The Halloween decorations that were meant to be entertaining for her son is now a gift for others.
"They are going to scare kids," said Neighbor Leticia Jubera. "I think they did a great job here."
"I’m bringing happiness to others for me that’s what it’s all about," said Jimenez. "It really is."
Decorations are up and lit until Halloween night. Jimenez also gives families Halloween books and toys for free.
Azenith Smith is a reporter for KTVU. Email Azenith at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @AzenithKTVU or Facebook or ktvu.com.