UK Charity, Hope 4 Kidz, Helps to Remodel Home for Local Boy with DMD

Margarida Azevedo, MSc avatar

by Margarida Azevedo, MSc |

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The U.K. charity Hope 4 Kidz has announced the successful completion of Matthew’s Milestone, a £75,000 (about $95,000) campaign to help a young boy with Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy (DMD) and his family.

Matthew Brettel, an 11-year-old from Thorney Close, in northeast England, was diagnosed with DMD in 2013 and has been virtually wheelchair-bound since.

Hope 4 Kidz, based in nearby Sunderland, heard about Matthew’s case and set up the milestone to help the boy and his family cope with mounting expenses — including a needed remodeling of their home to accommodate the boy’s medical equipment, especially in his bedroom and bathroom. The campaign also accepted gifts of goods that the family needed to adapt to the new daily realities of life.

The extensive remodeling of the Brettel’s home was finished in time for Christmas.

“Matthew is a very bright, happy little boy with a life-changing condition,” Vivien Watts, Hope 4 Kidz’ chief executive, said in a press release, adding that she was delighted with the renovations.

“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,” Watts said.

Two Sunderland companies, Fitz Architects and Tunstall Construction, were in charge of the work, which included the total demolition of the Brettels’ garage to build a two-floor extension, allowing Matthew to have his own bedroom, bathroom, and a small kitchenette upstairs.

Work also included installing a lift platform, a ramp, wider doors, and a small living area that could be converted as an overnight room for nursing staff.

Matthew now has full access to both floors in the house in his electric wheelchair. Tunstall Construction donated a total of £31,580 in free labor and supplies, and Fitz Architects created the plans and designed adaptations for the house pro bono.

“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 modernization. We had many obstacles along the way, but managed to overcome them all,” said Brent Ganley, director of Tunstall Construction.

Hope 4 Kidz, using donations from people and the business community, has since 2007 helped over 33,900 disabled children by granting needs that range from Christmas parties to specialist equipment.