Devon

DIY SOS help 'life-changing' for MS Torquay dad

The family with Nick Knowles
Image caption DIY SOS presenter, Nick Knowles with the Philp family: Simon, Lin and Lauren

A father with multiple sclerosis (MS) whose family was helped by DIY SOS described the adaptation of his house as "life-changing".

Before the show, Stuart Philp, from Torquay, Devon, had been living and sleeping in a chair in his living room.

His blind mother, Lin Philp, walked across town every day to care for him but they are now able to live under the same roof.

"I don't know how you've done it," Mr Philp said to the BBC TV team.

He developed the condition, that affects the brain and spinal cord, more than 15 years ago when his daughter Lauren was six months old.

Image caption Stuart Philp has lived with multiple sclerosis for 15 years

"I've tried not to let my illness interfere with how she's growing up," he said.

"With MS, it's a disease that's got no rules to it really. You get steadily worse."

The DIY SOS team built care facilities for 6ft 7in (2m) tall Stuart, including a bedroom, physio space, wet room, living space and the ability to access the entire ground floor and garden.

Ms Philp also needed a specially adapted extra bedroom for blind-assisted living.

Image caption Dozens of people in Torquay turned up to lend a hand

For her, the changes mean her son will now not have to move into a care home.

"It would break my heart because I know how much he'd hate it," she said.

"He'll always be my son, my baby."

Image caption The house has been specially adapted so Stuart can get around easily

Mr Philp's daughter Lauren said the house's new layout would "change us and help us".

"It's going to bring us so much closer together and make us so much happier," she said.

"It will take so much stress off our shoulders."

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