The parents of Luke Goold-Hannatt were desperate to get their 21-year-old son home, as he has spent the last three years in hospital and in specialist neurological care centres in Norwich and Ipswich since he suffered a catastrophic brain aneurysm.
David Hannatt, Karen Goold and their other children, Daniel and Jade, put out an appeal and started fundraising to build a ground-floor extension so they can get Luke home in time for Christmas this year.
Trainee bricklayer Luke was just 17 years old and in the second year of a bricklaying course at Otley College when he suffered an aneurysm known as an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) in January 2020. This is a tangle of blood vessels that irregularly connects arteries and veins and disrupts blood flow and oxygen circulation. Although the cause of AWMs is unknown, they are thought to affect less than 1% of the population.
Luke was at his girlfriend’s house at the time, and David and Karen were blue-lighted to the hospital in Ipswich – where they were told that his chances of survival were not good, as the team of clinicians were initially wondering whether anything could be done to help Luke.
He was sedated and transferred to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, where he underwent life-saving surgery to release the pressure to his brain.
Luke has been left with profound disabilities, which require constant care. He is peg fed and double incontinent. He is now able to move one leg and one of his arms, and although he cannot speak, he communicates by blinking and raising his eyebrows, as well as using an alphabet chart to spell out words.
Following the surgery, he was moved back to Ipswich Hospital – but the introduction of COVID restrictions made it very difficult for the family to visit Luke, and this was a very stressful and difficult time for the family.
Luke has since been transferred to a rehabilitation centre in Norwich – and from there, he was moved to the Sue Ryder Neurological Care Centre The Chantry in Ipswich in January last year, where he receives specialist neurological care.
The easing of restrictions has meant the family can visit much more frequently, and Luke is much happier.
In November, the family contacted their local media in a bid to raise the money for a ground-floor extension so that they could get Luke home for Christmas 2023. And Band of Builders answered the call.
The family home in Woodbridge needed extensive renovations to create a wet room and two bedrooms on the ground floor for Luke and a live-in carer.
More than 70 tradespeople from across the UK answered the call to build the extension in just four weeks. In an emotional handover Luke was flanked by his parents, brother and sister and a raft of well-wishers as he visited his family home for the first time.
Luke told the gathered crowd: “I just want to say thank you so much to every single person who helped to build me my new home – and how happy I am that I will be back with my family again. I’ve missed them all so much. You’re all amazing and I’ll never forget what you’ve done for me.”