TRANSFORMING her home has given a young Bidford woman her independence back – and she has thanked the hundreds who helped.
Chloe Print-Lambert suffers from chronic conditions Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and Mastocytosis which have left her needing constant access to oxygen, to be fed through a tube in her chest and prone to seizures which cause her joints to dislocate and stop her breathing.
The 21 year-old was faced with moving out of the family home to cope with her complex medical needs.
But after her plight was highlighted by the Observer and consequently national press, she was approached to appear on BBC One show DIY SOS.
And around a year ago presenter Nick Knowles, designer Lawrence Llwellyn Bowen and their team descended on the Print-Lambert home – where Chloe lives with mum Suze, step-dad Phil and brother Joshua – to start the makeover.
Local businesses and traders gave their time and goods for free to transform the entire house and build a self-contained apartment complete with wet room for Chloe – who was previously living in the family lounge.
The former Stratford Girls’ Grammar School pupil told the Observer: “I was trapped in one room before which left little to no room to try and do things independently. Now I can push my boundaries knowing I’m in a safe space to do so.
“I can access the whole of the downstairs which means I can do normal things like cooking meals and seeing guests in a social way rather than them sitting at my bedside. This has been a huge boost to my self-esteem.
“My annex feels my own and gives me the independence any 21 year-old needs.”
Despite being grateful to the volunteers and team for the work they have done for her, Chloe says one of the most important things is that her whole family were catered for through the project – particularly 14 year-old younger brother Joshua.
She said: “My whole family had a weight lifted. Although it was very difficult for me to have to be sleeping in the lounge, it also meant my family didn’t have a place to socialise and I had no choice but to be heavily reliant for even the simplest of tasks. It was upsetting and frustrating for me that I couldn’t make the situation better somehow.
“Thankfully, the team and all those from the fantastic community we live in came to our aid and helped restore a feeling of inclusion in our lives.
“I’m also so grateful my brother’s space was given real thought and consideration. Joshua is fantastic, thoughtful and really looks out for me. For those reasons I’m so glad they gave him the fantastic room that he deserved.”
Unfortunately while the build was taking place Chloe became ill and had to be hospitalised.
But luckily doctors discharged her just in time and she was able to meet all of those who helped – and she thanked the teary volunteers with a poem.
She said: “To all that helped in any way to transform our house back into a home, I am still eternally grateful for your kindness. Each day I think how amazing it is to have been given this chance, you have restored some normality back into our lives that my illness snatched away and that’s huge for us.”
The show airs on Wednesday (March 22) on BBC One at 9pm.
Chloe’s thank you poem:
I tried to find words but they just wouldn’t do,
To share our thanks for each and everyone of you.
Instead I will try and keep it brief,
By saying the love I feel is beyond belief.
Our lies were turned upside down,
We were left on a rollercoaster often wearing a frown.
This time in a our lives is just hard to believe,
But as an army of supporters you’ve provided help and relief.
Our house is now once again a home,
through old friends and new Its clear were never alone.
Please take it from me that when times are troubled,
Reach out for help as its often doubled.
So I shall say it again from the bottom of my heart,
Thank you for giving us a brand new start.