Newport stroke survivor no longer has to sleep under stairs after home makeover

Keith Parry, who was left sleeping under the stairs of his home following a stroke which left him in hospital for seven months
-Credit: (Image: Band of Builders)

The family of a stroke victim have expressed their gratitude to volunteers from a national construction charity who built him a ground-floor extension so he can sleep in his own bedroom for the first time in over two years. Keith Parry, 70, has only been able to leave his house three times since suffering a severe stroke in late 2021, which resulted in a seven-month hospital stay.

The joiner, from Gaer, Newport, was only able to return home after his wife arranged for a specialist bed and lifting equipment to be installed in their lounge. However, he was left without any privacy or facilities and essentially lived under the stairs in his lounge, leading local healthcare professionals to liken his situation to that of Harry Potter, the fictional character who resided in a cupboard under the stairs in the globally renowned book series.

In an emotional handover, Mr Parry's wife Linda expressed her gratitude to the volunteers from Band of Builders. They constructed the extension comprising a bedroom and wet room.

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National and local companies rallied around by donating everything from project materials to food and drinks for the volunteers. "What Band of Builders has done will change our lives forever," she said.

"Our gratitude will never be enough and from the bottom of our hearts we thank all the volunteers who travelled from far and wide to build the extension with a bedroom and bathroom to give Keith his dignity back. The work has been of the highest standards and long may Band of Builders continue helping people like us."

Linda with her husband Keith Parry and volunteers who helped with the project
Linda with her husband Keith Parry and volunteers who helped with the project -Credit:Band of Builders

The father-of-three suffered a stroke in an upstairs bedroom at his home in late 2021 which robbed him of his speech and mobility. Mr Parry underwent seven months of rehabilitation across various hospitals in South Wales.

He returned home once a hospital bed and lifting equipment were set up in his living room, where he has been sleeping since. Because their house is at the bottom of a steep bank, his family cannot get him out of the house, so he has only left three times in the last two years.

For medical appointments, Mr Parry's transportation often requires two ambulance crews and sometimes assistance from the fire brigade. Close to 50 volunteers, including tradespeople from various sectors and Band of Builders supporters, dedicated their skills to the three-week project, backed by Tarmac Blue Circle.

Garry Gregory from Tarmac Blue Circle said: "We're extremely proud to once again be supporting Band of Builders with its latest project for Keith. We hope that this project has brought some comfort to him at this difficult time.

"The work the team is doing is extremely important for the industry and we look forward to continuing to make an impact with Band of Builders."