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Housebound mother’s DIY SOS bliss

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A HOUSEBOUND mum has been given a helping hand by a life-changing TV show.

BBC programme DIY SOS: The Big Build, put out a call for Wearside tradesmen to help them transform the Houghton home of June Finlay.

Last night, millions tuned in to see the fruits of their labour which turned the house into a disabled-friendly living space.

Previously, the restrictive home had hampered June’s rehabilitation from a rare disease which left her barely being able to walk, talk or use her hands.

The mum-of-one – who was diagnosed with Clippers, which causes an inflammation on the brain – used to have to sleep in a hospital bed in the kitchen, as well as bathing there.

Husband John used to have to move furniture to get her wheelchair in and out of the house, in Leeholme.

However, £60,000 of improvements carried out for the show have turned their lives around.

John, 69, a retired electrician, said: “I couldn’t believe it when I saw it for the first time. I expected an extension with a bedroom and a bathroom, but ended up with full re-writing, central heating, decorated, even new TV sets.

“It’s been well worth it. June can have a proper wash in her own bathroom, instead of me having to bathe her in the middle of the kitchen.”

Despite NHS physiotherapy being stopped, John has persevered with June’s rehabilitation, teaching her to talk and eat.

Even though he was told his wife would never walk again, John has taught her to walk in water, thanks to twice-weekly sessions at Hetton Pool and Wellness Centre.

John, who is dad to Heather, 29, said: “The team thought of everything, from widening doors to making June’s own bedroom garden-themed, instead of her having to sleep in a hospital bed.

“If this show hadn’t come along I probably would have had to move to a council house, as it was really difficult to manoeuvre around this one. It’s been absolutely brilliant.”

John and June watched the show with Heather and friends last night to see presenter Nick Knowles reveal their new-look home. Local traders, including plasterers, plumbers and electricians, were also drafted in to help in the transformation, which took place over three weeks in October.

 

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