Renovating antique houses isn’t an easy task, but luckily for us, Erin and Ben Napier do that job for us in the most fantastic way possible. Thanks to their HGTV show “Home Town”, the Napiers have demonstrated that there’s always a way to bring life back to old houses without saying rejecting modernity.
While the projects done by the Napiers are usually a sight in themselves, their audience have also come to care about their personal lives, especially when it comes to Erin and her long-time health struggles.
So is she alright nowadays, and what are the most recent updates about her health and family? Keep with us to know what’s really going on with Erin Napier now!
Her Health Now
Any long-time fan of “Home Town” knows well that Erin Napier hasn’t had it easy with her health. Ever since she was 19 years old, Erin has been suffering from terrible pain and other afflictions which were a mystery even to doctors.
After struggling with that for so long, in 2014 she was diagnosed with a ‘perforated appendix’, which had actually caused her many health issues and even made her dream of becoming a mother a hardly one to accomplish.
While Erin overcame her illness by receiving appropriate treatment, in 2022 she revealed it to have recently discovered that it negatively affected her mental health as well: ‘My brain, without my permission, sets off on a fight or flight mission to save my life, when my life is not in any danger at all’, she wrote on an Instagram post, on which she listed nausea, extreme fear and panic attacks as some of her most recurring afflictions.
Despite her worrisome diagnosis, Erin confessed to be dealing with it as best she could: ‘It’s not bad or good, it’s just part of my weird brain, and I’m trying to untangle it every day’, she affirmed, while also thanking her loved-ones for supporting her during those tough times. Hopefully, Erin would be able to overcome this situation, as she has done others in the past.
What Was Her Mystery Illness?
Erin was diagnosed with a perforated appendix, but it was more complicated than it sounds. In 2014, doctors discovered her internal organs were literally ‘bound together by scar tissue’, which was very rare in itself.
It turns out that her appendix had been perforated when she was 19 years old, causing her severe pain and physical discomfort, which only increased as years passed, becoming a mystery both for her and doctors as they couldn’t find the source of her symptoms: ‘We went through everything, from doctors thinking it might be something really bad like cancer, to saying it was in Erin’s head’, Ben told People in 2018.
Though her appendix was initially ‘ruptured’, it was ‘not enough to kill her’, but caused her extreme pain. Interestingly enough, the scar tissue spread in her body was the organ’s natural way to ‘heal itself’.
Erin’s late diagnosis came as the missing piece of the puzzle to figure out what had been happening to her body for almost a decade: ‘having the answer was life-changing. I could stop being afraid to eat! I stopped being afraid it was something long-term’, she affirmed. After undergoing two surgeries, the scar tissue was removed, marking the end of several years of constant pain and uncertainty.
Struggles To Have Children
Despite no longer suffering from constant physical pain, the scar tissue spread by her body caused another affliction in Erin’s body. According to a 2020 interview, having children became an unlikely possibility, despite being finally cured from her illness: ‘we had no proof that I would be able to have kids’.
While Erin admitted to being fearful of ‘the surgical aspects’ of having children, her desire to become a mother was fervent: ‘if children weren’t in the plan biologically, we would adopt. If we couldn’t adopt for some reason, having each other would be enough’, she told People.
— Erin Napier (@ErinRNapier) February 20, 2018
Even though they didn’t expect it at all, in 2017 life blessed her and Ben with a baby daughter, who was born in January the following year and named Helen: ‘Having children was not a priority for us at the time; we weren’t trying to have kids or anything’, as Ben admitted.
In May 2021, the couple welcomed their second daughter Mae, who was just as unexpected as her older sister. Although Ben and Erin refrain from talking about their plans about future kids, and refuse to fall prey to other people’s expectations on the subject, their journey into parenthood is inspiring to say the least.
Welcome to the HGTV family sweet baby Mae Napier! Congratulations to Ben, Erin and big sister Helen. 📷 Ben and Erin Napier. #hgtvhometown
Though Erin and Ben keep their privacy in place by not showing their daughters’ faces on social media, they aren’t afraid of sharing certain details about them.
For starters, in early 2022, Erin opened about her younger daughter Mae’s illness in a heartfelt Instagram post. Though her followers had no idea about the baby girl’s diagnosis, and Erin refrained from giving details about it, she stated that her daughter ‘was born with some congenital defects from the womb, but is doing great in physical therapy, and is getting stronger everyday’.
Describing Mae as ‘the sweetest and easiest baby the good Lord ever made’, Erin affirmed her daughter was learning to crawl, and was increasingly curious about her surroundings.
Regarding her older daughter Helen, she’s a very healthy little girl, even though in early 2021 she underwent surgery to repair a broken left arm, though she fortunately recovered well from the scary situation.
While the Napiers are apparently still trying to get used to being a family of four and have faced several health related situations, they keep walking forward.
Why Were The Police At Her Home?
Although the Napiers’ popularity has brought them fantastically positive things, it also led them to experience a terrifying situation in recent years.
Known for her sincerity towards her followers, in May 2022 Erin recalled how her family was the subject of a stalker the year before. Though the pic she shared on her Instagram featured some seemingly harmless dolls and toys, she explained those didn’t belong to any of her daughters, but to a middle aged man from California who had moved into their neighborhood and was behaving oddly.
The details Erin gave about the man were terrifying to say the least. He had unsettlingly told some neighbors he had the toys for when ‘little Helen’ visited him, on top of being oddly dressed as a “Star Wars” character, and wearing a visible ankle monitor bracelet.
Thanks to the information provided by their neighbors, Erin and Napier secured their house thanks to the support of local authorities. However, the man was briefly in contact with their friends’ children, to whom he told ‘disgusting things’, as Erin affirmed.
The Napiers thanked their community and police officers for the support provided, but there’s really no details about whatever happened to the man except for the fact he was ‘sent to California’.
Besides their work renovating houses in “Home Town”, the Napiers own several businesses, of which Laurel Mercantile is the most prolific. As it happens, Laurel Mercantile Co. used to be one of the biggest good suppliers in Laurel back in the early 1900s, but ended up closing its doors a couple of decades later due to the local commercial market’s changes. Despite closing down, the original Laurel Mercantile left a hardly erasable mark on the town’s history, leading Erin and Ben to bring it back to life a century later in association with their friends Jim and Mallorie Rasberry, and Josh and Emily Nowell.
The new and renovated Laurel Mercantile opened in 2016 in an effort to not only revive a long-lost local piece of history, but also to support ‘American manufacturing and the towns across the country that depend on it’, as both Erin and Ben considered national-made products an underrated but vital field which needed help.
Since its foundation, Laurel Mercantile has expanded beyond its physical location, to opening an online store, offering a wide variety of products which include houseware, furniture, decoration items, apparel and even selling books, including those written by the Napiers.
Do The Napiers Have A New Show?
Given the success of the Napiers long-running show “Home Town”, it’s unsurprising that several spin-offs from it have premiered. The most recent is “Home Town Kickstart”, premiered in early 2022, and sponsored by People and HGTV.
This new show’s concept is exciting to say the least, as Erin and Ben traveled out of Mississippi with the important mission to change other small towns as they did with their beloved Laurel: ‘we’ve seen how these improvements change a community for the better’, Ben stated, firmly convinced of the positive impact that flipping, restoring and remodeling historical houses meant: ‘Now, with help from HGTV, we’re going to continue what we started, and help more small towns across the country’.
To go where they were needed the most, Erin and Ben chose six towns from viewers’ submissions sent to them in previous seasons. However, the couple didn’t do their work alone, as their role in every project was to serve as a guide to other professionals in the house renovation field, offering support and insights into the best way possible to bring every house renovation to a satisfying and esthetically pleasing completion.
Besides the popular “Home Town” and its “Kickstart” spin-off, the Napiers have been featured in a couple of other shows as well. The first is 2021’s “Home Town Takeover”, which showed the Napiers going to Wetumpka, Alabama, marking the first time they worked on screen outside Laurel.
While the show’s only season was highly successful, a second season isn’t on the plans for the time being, due to it clashing with the Napiers’ parenting responsibilities: ‘It was an amazing adventure for us, but likely the only one like it until (maybe) our girls are much older’, as Erin answered on Twitter.
“Ben’s Workshop” also premiered in 2021, though this show isn’t focused on the usual home renovations we’re used to seeing; instead, it features Ben’s carpentry business Think New Yankee Workshop, as he and his guests took several work projects to completion.
Although it’s unknown if “Ben’s Workshop” will be renewed for a second season, it’s truly inspiring to see Ben and Erin out of their comfort zone, trying new and exciting concepts.
Stardom & Success
There’s no doubt that Erin and Ben Napier are the perfect couple for TV. Not only are they talented, creative and hardworking, but their personalities and good vibes made them easily likable to viewers of all ages.
That being said, it’s surprising to know the couple almost didn’t make it to TV. It all started when their business, Lucky Luxe was featured in the magazine Southern Weddings, taking the attention of a TV producer who was enamored by their craft and esthetic choices. However, Erin almost didn’t understand the meaning of the agent’s ‘phone proposal to create a show, thinking it was a normal customer.
Nonetheless, Erin and Ben did well to accept doing the show, as in only its second season “Home Town” ratings surpassed other productions of the network, giving the couple space to take the title of “the most famous HGTV’s stars” as their own.
What Happened To “Home Town”?
Knowing how many spin-off series featuring the Napiers have premiered, some fans might understandably assume the original “Home Town” show is in danger of not being renewed. However, it’s safe to assume the show still has a long way to go, and potential to be explored.
In late 2021, “Home Town”s sixth season successfully premiered on HGTV, though some welcomed changes were included. As it happens, early in the year Erin and Ben bought a fixer-upper barnhouse, which they were waiting for the right time to renovate.
This house serves a different purpose than their main Laurel house, being more of a ‘hideaway’ for the family, and also an effort to offer their two young girls a wider property in which to play.
While this exciting and deeply important project truly enamored the audience, it wasn’t the first time “Home Town” brought different elements to improve the show. Back in the fifth season, Ben affirmed the series had greatly changed from the ‘figure out the blueprint’ concept in the first season, to allow them to ‘figure out the mold and break it every episode’.
All in all, it’s very obvious that not only is “Home Town”’s future on TV secure for years to come, but also that the Napiers will keep giving their best in every project.