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DIY SOS Big Build Charlton Kings: DIY SOS Family’s Disabled Daughter Died Two Weeks Before Filming

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DIY SOS Big Build Charlton Kings: Many families are deserving of DIY SOS’s help – but the Chapman family have been through an agonising ordeal.

Dad Peter was building a much-needed extension for his family at their home in Charlton Kings, near Cheltenham, when he received his own devastating diagnosis.

The 60-year-old former car mechanic and hospital porter spends 24/7 caring for his wife Sarah and daughter Suzanne, who are at different stages of a long-term genetic disorder called myotonic dystrophy.

The symptoms of the condition include gradually worsening muscle loss and weakness as they often contract and are unable to relax – and it may also include cataracts, intellectual disability and heart conduction problems.

Daughter Suzanne, 35, has mental age of 12 and inspiringly works a couple of mornings a week in the nursery she attended as an infant.

While mum Sarah, 55, now has the early stages of the disease so walks short distance with aid of a walking frame.

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The family were rocked by tragedy just weeks before the DIY SOS team arrived when daughter Margaret, 31, who had the same condition sadly passed away.

Sadly, Peter’s . mother also died a few years ago, so he and Sarah took in his 64 year old autistic brother Steve, who works part-time at a local launderette and also assists with care.

The house was swamped with specialist equipment and their wheelchairs battled to negotiate the unhelpful house layout and narrow doorways.

Every day, care assistants attended the home to help and Peter never stops helping with the daily physiotherapy, of his wife and daughter, whom he loves so dearly.

Peter started building an extension to adapt the house to everyone’s needs – but time and money ran out before it was finished.

As thew health of daughter Suzanne and wife Sarah continued to deteriorate and Steve’s needs expanded, Peter struggled to finish work on the house and find the hours in the day to care for all his family.

DIY SOS Big Build Charlton Kings

To make matters even worse, he was rocked by his own health worries when he was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, something he did not even believe in before.

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It’s a long-term condition that cause pain all over the body, with symptoms including increased sensitivity, extreme tiredness, difficulty sleeping, headaches and irritable bowel syndrome.

“As time went on, we realised it was going to get worse. And it did,” he explains during the emotional episode.

Thankfully, the DIY SOS team were on hand to come and help the Chapman family and asked for volunteers to come down to Charlton Kings in February 2020.

Presenter Nick Knowles and the rest of the gang started by fixing the things that Peter had tried to do by himself.

There’s a leaky roof, the electrics need sorting and the garden is made more accessible for the wheelchairs.

However, problems arise when Storm Dennis strikes and puts the Big Build in jeopardy.

Despite the problems with the weather, the DIY SOS gang are able to completely transform Peter and Sarah’s home.

Daughter Suzanne, who has never been able to have her own room before, has one that is built to her specfiic needs while incorporating her love of magical literature.

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Their kitchen is made open plan to help accessibility and Margaret’s old bedroom, with the blessing of the family, is turned into a physio hub.

Sarah tells Nick that she wished Margaret could have seen the transformation, adding: “I don’t think that thank you is going to cover it.”

While Peter, who admits what has happened is “unbelievable”, thanks the DIY SOS crew and says that their work will “make a huge difference” to their lives.

Alamu Tosin

The writer is Alamu Tosin. I have three strong passions in life — football, blogging and movies — in that order. I love spending time with friends talking about the important things in life and hate nothing more than ‘authority’ and hypocrisy. My personal believe in life is that once an individual sets his/her mind to achieve something, it is totally possible. And oh!, I am a strong Lannister, because I always pay my debt. For writing or fixing gigs, contact [email protected]

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