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.