A BOROUGH community’s work renovating the home of a stricken Wigan man has been featured on a television DIY show.
Under the leadership of Nick Knowles and his DIY SOS teams, builders, plumbers, roofers and painters joined forces to create an independent living space for Mark Burrows, who was left paralysed and permanently in a wheelchair following a brutal attack in Sheffield more than two years ago.
The 36-year-old spent the last two years in and out of hospital, and at Stocks Hall Care Home in St Helens. He moved into his new extension, in Sandy Lane, Hindley, shortly before Christmas, with personal assistants supporting him, whilst his parents, Christine and Frank, live in the main house.
The open-plan extension includes a communal area and kitchen for his personal assistants, and includes a pull out bed and TV; his bedroom, with a specialist bed and rail track which leads to the wet room; and a living room, which adjoins to his parent’s dining room.
Mark’s sister, Michelle Romdhani, said: “The design and build took three weeks. I informed the show’s designer what Mark’s personal taste was, as a former nightclub manager he liked music and he was laid back. “The extension has a Mediterranean vibe, with a few undertones of the club scene, We wanted something contemporary so we have glass radiators and we also have a jelly fish tank, which provides sensory stimulus for him. Our aim was to make everything look homely, rather than clinical, so Mark’s bed frame was designed so it does not look like a hospital bed and there are lights by the ceiling track, provided by Prism Medical UK, to distract from that. Mark’s bed, supplied by Centrobed, provides pressure relief overnight by tilting automatically when he is sleeping.
“The wetroom is fully adapted for him, with vinyl covered walls with a club theme, which is used to stimulate him. Everything is open plan - we have no doors for Mark’s wheelchair access, meaning the personal assistants are able to see Mark in his bed while they are in their communal space. Our parents live in the house, but now we can all spent quality time together and not act as his carers, so we can be with him in a positive way.
“The team even redesigned the garden. Mark’s flat was built onto the patio and the garage was knocked down to make way for the adjoining living room. He can access all points of the garden with a ramp and there are two seating areas, plus a pagoda.
“We want to say a big thank you to everyone who was involved. There are too many to mention, as this was a huge community effort. But in particular, staff from Sainsbury’s in Marus Bridge fund-raised for a TV for Mark; Brick Store in Ince provided brickwork and Taurus Home Improvements, in Hindley, were here practically every day.” Mum Christine said: “We want to thank the neighbours who put up with the work being done.
“We could not have done this without people’s generosity. They lifted us up from the brink of despair.”