A team of volunteer builders are set to help a mum-of-two left relying on a wheelchair after having to have her legs amputated.
Cher Little, 46, fell ill on her birthday in October 2020, initially thinking she might be suffering from coronavirus.
The mum-of-two deteriorated over the following days until her husband, a plasterer, dialled 999 when she fell seriously ill. Paramedics saved Cher’s life outside her house in Connah’s Quay, Flintshire, Wales, and she was rushed to hospital where she was put on life support.
There, medics told the family that Cher had contracted Meningococcal Septicaemia – a rare and often fatal bloodstream infection – and had gone into septic shock.
Cher’s family were told she only had a 20% chance of pulling through as her organs had started to shut down but after a three-and-a-half month battle, the mum-of-two survived. However, Cher was told she would need to have both legs amputated below the knee – an operation she underwent in February 2021.
Cher is now learning to walk again using prosthetics, but relies on a wheelchair for a lot of her movement. Her condition means she is currently confined to the living room in the family’s home and has little privacy or freedom to move around.
After hearing about Cher’s situation, national construction charity Band of Builders is stepping in to help the family, with a group of volunteers set to carry out the organisation’s biggest project to date in three separate phases, starting in October.
Band of Builders is a registered charity that helps members of the UK construction industry battling illness or injury through the completion of practical projects. The charity is backed by major names within the construction industry, including DeWalt, Jewson, Talasey and Gibbs & Dandy.
In what will be the charity’s 20th project to date, a group of volunteer tradespeople will travel to Connah’s Quay to help Cher and her family by knocking down and extension current extensions to their home to increase the size of the living area, as well as adding a new low-level kitchen and wet room and refitting Cher’s bedroom. The team will also remove internal walls and widen doorways with ramped access outside to make the home wheelchair accessible and give Cher more independence.
Cher said: “At the moment we can’t quite believe this is actually going to happen. I’ve had a huge amount of support from people around me, including my sister who I owe a big thank you to, but the thought of complete strangers coming to do this for us has left us a bit speechless. It’s going to make a huge difference, not just to me but to all of us, and we’re just so grateful to everyone involved.”
Band of Builders Operations Director Tony Steel said: “Cher’s life has been irreversibly changed by her condition and she’s currently confined to one room in the house, with little privacy. We’re hoping the changes we are planning will help improve not only her quality of life, but the whole family’s, and help them move forward after what has been an incredibly difficult time.
“The project will be our biggest to date, with our volunteers coming from across the country to help Cher and her family. We have amazing backing from the industry, but every little bit helps so if anyone wants to help in any way, we always welcome support, whether it’s financial, materials or anything else. Anyone who wants to get involved can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.”