• Fri. May 24th, 2024

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

Matthew’s Milestone Reached

Christmas has come early for a Sunderland youngster suffering from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, following a leading North East charity’s appeal.

Eleven-year-old Matthew Brettell, from Thorney Close, was diagnosed with the disease three years ago, leaving him virtually wheelchair bound, requiring assistance to get upstairs and to use the bathroom.

After learning about Matthew, Sunderland-based charity Hope 4 Kidz set up the Matthew’s Milestone appeal to help the youngster and his family by raising the money and gifts in kind needed to make a range of adaptations to their home.

And now, with the adaptations complete, Matthew and his family are back in their home.

Vivien Watts, chief executive at Hope 4 Kidz said she was delighted that the home modifications were complete in time for Christmas.

“Matthew is a very bright, happy little boy with a life-changing condition,” she said.

“The house before was quite segregated due to access problems, so the modifications mean that Matthew and his family can now lead as normal life as possible, for as long as possible in their forever home.”

Work, which was completed by Sunderland-based Fitz Architects and Tunstall Construction Ltd, included the demolition of the Brettell family’s garage and the construction of a two-storey extension, in order to give Matthew his own bedroom and bathroom upstairs with an overhead tracking and hoist and a small wet room on the ground floor with a portable hoist, as well as a mini kitchen area.

The work also saw the installation of a disabled lift platform, a ramp, widened doors and a small living area which would double as overnight accommodation for nursing staff.

The adaptations, which will give Matthew full access to both floors in his family home with his electric wheelchair, came in over budget at around £116,000 – however, the short fall was covered with gifts in kind from North East businesses.

Director of Tunstall Construction Ltd Brent Ganley, whose company donated £31,580 in kind, said, “When Hope 4 Kidz contacted us we had no hesitation in wanting to be involved.”

“Hope 4 Kidz moved the family into temporary accommodation during the six-month modernisation. We had many obstacles along the way, but managed to overcome them all to ensure the family were moved into their newly renovated home in time for Christmas.”

Other companies who provided donors gifts in kind include Sorted PR, O’briens Waste Recycling Solutions, Safe Seal North East Windows, Scaffolding, Sunderland City Council, George Boyd Ironmongery, Thomson Waste, Hope Springs, Sunshine Fund, Sofa So Good North East Limited, Durham Kitchens and Bathrooms, James Burrell Builders Merchants and Taurus Utilities.

For further information about Matthew’s Milestone, call Hope 4 Kidz direct on 0191 534 7788, email vivien.watts@hope4kidz.org.uk or go to www.hope4kidz.org.uk.