DIY SOS: The Big Build Arundel

Thursday January 4, 2018, 8pm, BBC One, DIY SOS Arundel

It was humbling and an honour to be able to help Amanda and be involved with DIY SOS: The Big Build Arundel.

Amanda, mother of four children and wife to local builder Vic, was training on her pushbike for an iron-man when suddenly her brakes failed on Bury Hill, West Sussex. Travelling at 40 mph, she lost control and smashed into a signpost which catapulted her into wild bushes. The enormous impact meant Amanda had broken 11 bones, punctured a lung, and snapped her collar bone and her back. In vast pain, Amanda lay there motionless and described the sensation ‘like my spinal fluid was leaking from my body’. It was 2 hours before Amanda was found by another cyclist. On arrival at A&E she was told that she had been left paralysed. That evening, a national newspaper, featured her ‘selfie’ from the hospital with a beaming smile advising friends: ‘I don’t want to make anyone sad or upset but I’m not going to walk again’ and she was determined to continue to compete as a para-athlete.

With husband Vic tending to the four children, Amanda spent the next 6 months at Stoke Mandeville spinal unit. Even during her darkest days at the unit she would help feed other patients to keep busy and to remind herself that – in her mind – it could have been worse for her. Finally after two gruelling 12 hour back operations, she returned home, in a wheel chair to her family she so desperately missed but her home was unsuitable and so that is where the DIY SOS build volunteers came to the family's rescue.

See the trailer here