Cheltenham

As a child, 17 year old student Scott Jones suffered a series of strokes caused by a tumour, which eventually left him paralysed from the chest down, and wheelchair bound for life. As a boy, he showed incredible promise in athletics and on the rugby field, and had hoped to have a successful career as a sportsman. He was told by doctors however, that following his strokes he would never play rugby again. Scott battled Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Depression as a teenager, but being highly ambitious and competitive, he has gone on to win gold medals and set world records in Shot Put. He has represented Great Britain in international competitions, and he now has his sights set on the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.

But back at home in Cheltenham it is a very different story, as every day Scott struggles to carry out the most basic tasks on his own. His joints dislocate several times a day, and it takes a few hours in the morning for his strong medication to kick in, to allow him just to move and get into his wheelchair. He is currently dependent on his parents to care for him, and cannot be left alone for more than a few hours, in a house that is completely unsuitable for his needs. He has to sleep in a makeshift bedroom downstairs, shower at college, and despite his love of cooking he cannot feed himself, as he cannot access the kitchen, bathroom or bedroom at home.

Mum Liz is Scott’s full time carer and has a complex medical history too. Having suffered from Leukaemia and told she only had 3 weeks to live at one point, she went on to survive cancer and eventually gave birth to Scott after 8 miscarriages. She has also had 24 operations on her jaw, following an accident as a child, and is in constant pain and on strong medication, which leaves her extremely exhausted.

Dad Gary works shifts at an aluminium site, and is trying to keep the family afloat. But as the sole earner, they simply can’t afford to adapt their home to allow their son Scott to become an independent young man.

The Build

Scott is capable and eager to be self-sufficient at home, but just lacks the facilities. DIY SOS, with HSS providing free tool and equipment hire, plan to build a single storey side and rear extension, to provide Scott with his own bedroom, wet room and access to an adapted kitchen. His parents will still be on hand to help him, but he will benefit from some private space as he becomes a young man. At the moment he cannot access the garden at all, and in the summer he is forced to sit inside with the doors open, watching his family outside. This is heart breaking for a young man so keen to be active, so they will widen all the doorways in the house and create access out into a beautiful garden.

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