SEAGROVE, N.C. -- As the cold weather looms in the Piedmont Triad, gifts don't get much better than this one.

Clayton and Leona Meadows were surprised at the door by Triad Heating & Cooling a few days after Christmas. It turns out, the Seagrove family won the company's Gift of Warmth Contest, meaning they'd get a brand new heating system for free.

"Still today it's kind of like it's hard to believe," says Clayton.

His family says this is a big blessing, and not just because of the winter cold. Earlier this year Clayton was diagnosed with IPF, or idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. It's a lung disease with no cure. He was given 4-5 more years to live.

To try and ease the symptoms, he's tethered to an oxygen tank 24/7. His only hope right now is a lung transplant.

"I'm putting a lot of stress on my family," he says. "I'm putting stress on everybody, you know?."

And as medical bills pile up, other expenses do too. Fixing their broken heating system wasn't an option.

"It is a burden up off of our shoulders," Clayton explains. "It's one thing I don't have to worry about."

Clayton and Leona have 9 kids, and dozens of grandkids. They don't want to see their big family get smaller; they want Clayton to live.

And with the gift of heat, comes hope - that miracles can happen.

"So fast, so fast you can lose your faith," says Leona. "And they just built it strongly back up."

The family is working to try and get Clayton on the donor list, but it's not an easy process. If you want to help the family, you can reach out at (336) 267-1106 or email

Clayton actually read about the Gift of Warmth contest in the local newspaper while he was waiting to see a lung specialist. It was the twist of fate his family needed. Click here to learn more about Triad Heating & Cooling.

Follow WFMY News 2 on Facebook and Twitter

► Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the WFMY News 2 App now