Abacus Healthcare, a leading provider of powered and height adjustable baths for disabled bathers, has donated a Gemini bath to a less-abled child, as part of his family’s DIY SOS TV programme home conversion in Trench, Telford.
Matthew was diagnosed with a brain tumour aged 10. Following surgery, he was given a positive prognosis however Matthew subsequently experienced two significant strokes resulting in paralysis. Matthew spent 18 months in Birmingham Children’s Hospital undergoing treatment and chemotherapy before discharge into rented accommodation.
Matthew was unable to return to his family house as it was inaccessible for a wheelchair and impractical for his care needs. Hence the Cooper family desperately began to raise funds for the extensive building work required to get Matthew home.
With the help of Matthew’s school, Wrockwardine Wood Junior School, they managed to raise over £52,000 and were on the brink of commissioning construction when DIY SOS contacted them. Matthew’s headmistress had written to the programme’s production company seeking help with a view to retaining donations for ongoing care and rehabilitation. ‘DIY SOS The Big Build’ is the flagship TV programme that provides extensive home conversions for families in need. The researchers met with the Coopers and agreed to deliver the project.
The project would involve adaptations for wheelchair and hoist accessibility and a new single storey extension containing an interconnecting specialist bedroom and bathroom for Matthew. Abacus Healthcare was approached by DIY SOS regarding the donation of an accessible bath. Following appropriate assessments with an OT, a Gemini with variable height functionality and integrated changing, drying and bathing platform was deemed appropriate.
During the build the Abacus fitters were able to install the Gemini bath at short notice and within a day so the overall challenging project deadline was not compromised. Following nine days of extensive remodelling of the Cooper’s house, driveway and garden, the family were invited back for the ‘reveal day’ which was attended by David Bertorelli and Brett Smith from Abacus.