In this week’s episode, Baz and the DIY SOS crew headed to Longwood Co Meath, where they helped and renovated the home of The Parsons family who need an extension to accommodate their son
Every week DIY SOS: The Big Build leaves us feeling emotional. The programme has deeply human stories at its heart and volunteers full of goodwill are its driving force.
This week was another brilliant, heart-rending episode where Baz and the team meet the Parsons family in Longwood, Co. Meath, and set about building their much-needed extension to cater for their sons’ needs.
Glen, Jen and their two boys Ryan and Josh live in the village of Longwood, Co. Meath. There are three members of this young family with additional needs and their small semi-detached home was no longer practical or functional.
Mum Jen initially applied to DIY SOS looking for help for her youngest son Josh (6) who, after years of investigation, was diagnosed with Smith-Magennis Syndrome, a severe developmental disorder that affects many parts of the body.
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Josh is non-verbal, peg-fed, and is in a wheelchair; he is unable to walk, crawl or sit unaided. Josh’s older brother Ryan (9) has autism and so has sensory requirements and needs his space and quiet time, which was very difficult for him to get in their original house.
Jen also has multiple health issues which are becoming increasingly debilitating and affecting her mobility. In fact, her health issues coupled with the demanding schedule trying to care for the boys while husband Glen was at work, resulted in the family making the difficult decision that Glen would retire from his 21-year career with the Defence Forces to be at home full-time and help care for his young family.
The Parsons original home was small, cluttered, and not at all suitable for Jen’s increasing needs or the severity of Josh’s needs. Jen was sleeping on a mattress in Josh’s room and he needed constant entertainment to distract him from his own discomfort.
In their new home, the team provided them with much-needed space as well as the sensory requirements that will make a huge difference to their lives and those of both of their children.
Speaking about the family presenter Baz Ashmawy said: “From the moment I met the Parsons I was struck by their strength, character, and the sheer resilience of two people and their determined ability to put their children first at all times. I was more than honoured to be a part of this build and to get to know the entire family… It was a pleasure being a small part of the changes that their new house will bring to their lives.”
The final result is astonishing and a credit to the hardworking crew and volunteers on DIY:SOS. You can see the incredible work that the team did on the house in more detail below.
DIY SOS: The Big Build Ireland airs on Sundays, 6.30pm, RTE One