A family dealt a series of devastating blows are appealing for help toturn their lives around with a DIY SOS-style make-over.
In May 2014, Ian Freeman, of Grantham Road, Sleaford, lost his wife in a horrific car crash while living in Soham, Cambs, leaving him with two young children, Daisy (now seven), and Joshua (now five).
Computer science teacher Ian, 40, said: “Maxine nipped out to Sainsbury’s one morning to do some shopping and never came home.
“To say I was devastated is an understatement.”
He added: “I moved to Sleaford a few months later.
“I did not expect to find love again, but then I met Louise, and in May of last year we got married.”
Ian said he had come to terms with the loss of Maxine and the children had been adjusting to normality, calling Louise, 35, ‘mum’ and she was in the process of adopting them.
On Monday, September 26, Ian headed off to work at Lincoln Technical College as normal and left Louise getting the kids ready for school when, for no known reason, Louise passed out in the shower. She fell and broke her neck.
Ian said: “When she came round she knew she had broken it, but the bathroom door was locked and she had to hammer on it until Daisy came and called an ambulance.”
Doctors have said Louise will recover partial movement in her arms but remain completely paralysed from the break downwards, affecting everything including lung function.
She has been recovering in Sheffield at the Princess Royal Spinal Injuries and Neuro-rehabilitation Unit, while Ian has had to stop working to start getting the house prepared, be a full-time father to Joshua and Daisy and be able to visit Louise in Sheffield.
Despite all this they have stayed incredibly positive, even when Ian suffered Deep Vein Thrombosis in his leg from a recent DIY injury.
The district council has agreed to carry out significant adaptations to the property funded by a disabled facilities grant, including installation of a lift.
Unfortunately, work will not be complete until possibly June, resulting in Louise having to spend three more months in hospital.
This still leaves a lot of redecoration work and equipment not covered by the grant. In order for the kitchen to be usable by Louise, half the floor needs to be lowered to remove a step.
Also, the downstairs cloakroom needs to be remodelled to accommodate the accessible kitchen.
There is plumbing, switches and sockets to alter and doors to re-hang, which Ian is struggling to fund.
They are now appealing for anyone who could help. Other equipment may not be provided for Louise automatically.
Ian said: “The kids have been tremendously resilient despite all the upheaval of redecorating.
“We went to see Father Christmas last month and Daisy asked for her mum to come home and Joshua asked for his mum not to have to go back into hospital ever.”
lIf anyone can help the Freemans, you are asked to contact them via email on email@example.com or get in touch with the Sleaford Standard on 01529 415981 or email firstname.lastname@example.org