Our aim was to make adaptations to Howard's property to allow him to return home to his family from the live-in brain injury unit in Garforth where he was receiving treatment.
Almost two years ago, in April 2020 Howard Holden, a 54 year old Building Surveyor from Oswaldtwistle in Lancashire suffered unexplained heart failure in his sleep. Howard has worked in the building trade for most of his working life, 14 years of which as a plasterer before he re-trained and gained his degree in Building Surveying at the age of 50.
On realising something was wrong, his wife Sam and two young daughters Daisy, who was then 12 and Tilly 10, performed
chest compressions on him until the ambulance team arrived. Paramedics then took over and managed to get him stable, although he was not expected to survive the night. During this time Howard suffered severe brain damage due to lack of oxygen to his brain. Howard was placed in a medically induced coma, on a ventilator for around two weeks and was gravely ill.
When Howard came out of the coma he had to learn to do everything again, walk, talk and even eat but his pure determination to get better, along with the love and support from his family helped him to continue to slowly improve.
Howard has been left battling a number of health issues - despite receiving rehabilitation in a live-in brain injury unit in Garforth, near Leeds. Howard suffers from severe fatigue, mobility issues and other brain-injury symptoms such as confusion and short-term memory loss. Family travel to Leeds as often as they can to visit him. Covid restrictions haven’t helped and at times he has not been able to see them other than on Skype or Zoom calls. Their aim now, as soon as he is well enough, is to get him home to continue his recovery so that they can all be together once more.
We have aimed to support Howard's recovery and ongoing rehabilitation by creating an extension at the rear of the property to create a new bedroom and wet room for Howard. Due to the reconfiguration and extensive works to the ground floor of the property, we also needed to add an additional dormer to create a bedroom for one of Howard's daughters.
To create a safe and enjoyable space for Howard as a result of his ongoing needs, a new fence was installed around the entire garden.
Haward’s wife, Sam, thanked the gathered crowd at the handover and said: “You’re brilliant, fantastic people, and for Howard it’s going to make a massive difference – not just to be back home but to help his recovery, as he’ll be able to have his own space to relax in a safe environment.”
She added: “I know that people say we’ve been unlucky about what we’ve been through, but how can we be unlucky when we’ve had the pleasure and the honour of meeting such an amazing group of people.
“Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to the volunteers and everyone who donated food and materials. You make the world make sense.”
All work was undertaken by volunteer tradespeople from across the country using materials donated by the construction sector.
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