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An accessible home for David

Hamilton, South Lanarkshire

  • We need to make significant changes to our family home so that it is inclusive and accessible for David. This includes creating an upstairs bedroom, bathroom, garage conversion, downstairs changing space, through the floor lift and concrete ramp access. It requires substantial reconfiguration of our property. As you can imagine, this will be costly.

We were initially told that we would need to create a bedroom downstairs for David but this simply would not fit his needs (or ours). He needs to be upstairs, where the rest of his family sleeps. We created bespoke plans to design an inclusive and accessible family home for David's future, allowing him space to grow (as well as space for growing equipment that he needs).

We hope to build a bedroom and ensuite bathroom (with a height adjustable bath) for David above our garage. In order to maximise the space for David upstairs, we are slightly extending directly underneath. We are converting our garage to create some more living space and also to fit a through-the-floor lift, giving David access to his bedroom.

Currently, David spends a lot of time in his suppine standing frame. It's too wide to move through the doorway, resulting in David often being confined to our kitchen space. As part of the adaptation plans, doors will be widened to allow David access to all areas of his home, which is so important to us as a family. We will create an accessible changing space from our downstairs toilet – what a difference from currently changing him on a sofa! He'll have the dignity and privacy that everyone deserves.  We need to move his sister, Grace's, bedroom forward to extend the hallway, giving access to David's bedroom. We will also create a door from our bedroom directly into David's new bedroom for quick access, especially during the night. A concrete ramp will ensure wheelchair access to our front door.

As David's parents, we both work and juggle caring commitments. We have saved incredibly hard to allow us to make changes to our family home. Covid and Brexit have significantly impacted the expected costs. Initially we were told that the work could have been covered for £80,000. However, we have since been quoted £135,000. We had hoped to add any additional costs to our mortgage, but, with mortgage rates also increasing, this is no longer feasible. We now find ourselves relying on fundraising to help us bridge the deficit.

Plans were drawn up when David was 2 years old. He's now almost 5 and we are feeling the strain on our bodies from carrying him around the house, especially up and down stairs. Our planning permission expires in November 2023 and we are really feeling the pressure to begin the work before then.

Any additional funds raised will help with floor coverings, tiles for wetroom and internal cupboard doors, which have not been included in costings.

Can you help us to create these much needed changes to David's family home?

David is a miracle - he has faced so many difficulties and challenges in his short life. He is an integral part of our family (Mum - Heather, Dad - Colin, big brother - Nathan and twin sister - Grace). He teaches us so much about love; what it means to love and to be loved.

David and Grace were born at 24 weeks gestation in September 2018. David sustained a brain injury at birth, which has resulted in profound disabilities, which are life limiting and all consuming. He has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, bilateral hearing loss, cerebral visual impairment, severe dystonia, epilepsy, a complex gut and hip displacement. He is non verbal, non mobile and relies on bulky equipment to help with postural care and positioning as well as medical equipment to help keep him in the best health possible. We communicate with David by using Canaan Barrie on body signs.

At almost 5 years old, David still sleeps in our bedroom. We need to get to him quickly throughout the night when he needs help. He has an unsafe swallow and relies on a suction machine to keep his airways clear and minimise the risk of aspiration. When he coughs, struggles with reflux or vomits, we need to be quick to act. David doesn't have paid carers, and we are routinely up and down several times during the night to care for him and ensure he is safe.

How much do we need to raise?

We're not entirely sure yet of the total to be raised.  We have saved a LOT  but the entire cost of the project is a massive £135,000.  We know; it's an eye-watering amount.  We are still waiting to hear how much money will be given via Home Improvement Grants via the local authority (we will be eligible for 80% of costs towards some aspects of the project – e.g. building work associated with the through-the-floor lift, configuring the space for a changing space in the downstairs toilet, doors being widened, ceiling track hoists, aspects of an ensuite with a height adjustable bath and a concrete ramp to the front door).  We anticipate that the deficit will be approximately £50,000 but we will adjust this total once we have funding confirmed.

How will this change our lives?

Quite simply, it will be like night and day.  Our bodies are feeling the strain of lifting David, carrying him up and down the stairs and changing him on inadequate surfaces (e.g. a bed or a sofa).  David will have privacy and dignity when getting changed when the work is done, compared to being changed on a sofa as he is now.  He is often confined to the kitchen because his equipment is bulky and cannot fit through the door.  He should be able to access other rooms in his home, just like the rest of us.  At nearly 5 years old, it doesn't seem fair that David continues to sleep in our bedroom in a cot.  He deserves his own bedroom – that is safe, inclusive and meets his needs (and also close to ours so that we can get to him quickly throughout the night when needed).

How long will the project take?

We're not quite sure, but we expect it to be several months.  Time is of the essence though and we are feeling pressured to get this project underway as soon as possible, as our planning permission expires in November 2023.
    Thursday 16th May Today David's height adjustable bath and wall mounted changing plinth were installed! David's bedroom flooring was also laid this week. Now we wait for the lift. Only a month (and a bit) to go... Thank you, thank you, thank you Sullivan's Heroes! ❤   Thursday 2nd May Internal work has slowed as we wait for installation dates for the height adjustable bath, wall mounted changing plinth and through the floor lift. But we have permanent ramp access! We are so thankful for all we've been able to do thanks to funds raised via Sullivan's Heroes.   Friday 22nd March Look at the progress - the structural work is done and the plasterers are doing their bit. The through the floor lift, height adjustable bath and wall mounted changing table are ordered and we're awaiting their delivery.
  Tuesday 5th March 2024 Today the space for the lift was cut out. Great to see this step happen and excited to see all these steps towards our accessible home for David!   Thursday 22nd February 2024 Look at the progress! We are facing possibly frustrating delays with the through the floor lift but the builders are powering on with other bits whilst we wait.   12th February 2024 Great to see the house taking shape!   7th February 2024 More building pictures showing progress. We can't wait to see the bricks going up and the roof being done!  
January 2024: Building works are underway!       21st July 2023

Freedom from the spica! Woohoo! 🙌 Our brave boy has amazed us yet again. And we can finally see his newest (and by far, largest) battle wounds, reminding us of all that's been overcome in this latest surgery ❤ Tomorrow, we are looking forward to another fundraising event. Our wonderful church family @hamiltonbaptistchurch are coming together for "Strathclyde Stride". From 7am until 7pm, people will be setting off on a challenge round Strathclyde Park. Some will even be participating from their holidays, further afield. There will be a range of sporting efforts from many, including a 100 mile cycle, 18km runs, 6km runs, walks of varying length, a swimathon (that one's not at Strathclyde Park!) and scoots/cycles too. Wow! It is simply mind-blowing that the total amount raised in just over 6 weeks is over £70,000! We do not have the words to adequately express our deep gratitude for the immense love and kindness shown to us. Frustratingly, we still do not know what the grant funding allocated will be. And we still do not have confirmation of a builder. But please know that all money raised will go directly to our house adaptations to transform our home into the perfect space for a David and our family. He now weighs 18kg and we really feel it when we carry him, particularly up and down stairs.   12th July 2023 We watched the Scotland Squad training in St Andrews yesterday. Nathan was buzzing to meet the players. We were delighted with how they took time for photos and a blether (as well as some handshakes and waves too!) As much as we've been investing our time with fundraising, we're all about making memories in our family and keeping the joy alive. We have loads of photos to treasure from today. It's amazing to watch how people love show love to our boy and our family. We're so thankful for ALL of the special ways that love is shown to David 28th June 2023

And we've been blown away once again by acts of love and kindness towards our amazing boy...

David's fundraising project with Sullivan's Heroes has just received a £5000 donation from Arnold Clark, courtesy of their Chief Executive and Managing Director, Eddie Hawthorne!


Thank you so much ❤

26th June 2023 "A Disco for David" raised a phenomenal £4583 at the Torrance Golf Club, East Kilbride, on Friday 23rd June 2023. My colleagues pulled out all the stops and a great time was had by all. Special thanks to Laura, who was inspired to help and coordinated the event impressively. Team Mossy are simply outstanding! The raffle and auction were brilliant. Overall, a stupendous event! 22nd June 2023 Look who's home! 😍 A week in hospital. A week at Robin House (CHAS). Four weeks still to go with his plaster spica on. This brave boy has faced and overcome so much in this past fortnight. He's got this! We are looking forward to a 'Disco for David' tomorrow night - a fundraising event organised by my wonderful colleagues. We've received some phenomenally generous raffle and financial donations from local businesses, who have been touched by hearing about our boy and want to help. Special thank you to the following: Just Perfect ML3 BAR Optical Factor Red Burn Farm Hamish & Weir Barbers We are currently sitting at 88% of our total. Wow! Thank you so, so much ❤ 18th June 2023 A wee family snap to share of Team Goring! Although the reality is that there are way more than 5 team members in Team Goring. We are utterly flabbergasted and humbled by the love shown to us and the gifts towards helping adapt our home for David. You are all so special and we appreciate every single gift of love and kindness. Love truly does conquer all. We are at 78% of the total raised. It's really just phenomenal. Thank you for loving us ❤ 16th June 2023 I can't believe we have raised a massive FIFTY FIVE PERCENT of David's fundraising total! Wow! You are simply superb! Thank you! ⭐ 13th June 2023

This wee soldier is looking brighter this morning. He developed a chest infection, which meant his epidural had to come out earlier than planned and then we had to figure out the best pain relief and also treatment for his infection. He's being well looked after by the amazing team at Glasgow RHC. We have been completely and utterly blown away by everyone's generosity. We have reached 41% of the total towards creating an accessible home for David. You are all blinking wonderful! Thank you ❤ 10th June 2023 Wowee! We're ONE THIRD of the way to our target! 😍 Thank you all so much. Please keep sharing with your friends, family and colleagues. David's doing well. Slow and steady. We're thankful for effective pain relief, which is keeping him comfortable and able to rest. 9th June 2023 Our David reminds us of David in the Bible. This little boy has been slaying giants yet again (and has added a few more battle wounds to his body in the process). Yesterday, he was in theatre for much longer than expected getting double hip surgery (including one full hip reconstruction). He's modelling his royal purple plaster spica beautifully. Pain relief is keeping him settled. It pains us to think of everything this brave boy endures. But he is truly remarkable and he deserves the very best. Our family and family, and  friends of friends are simply amazing too! ⭐  You have donated and shared David's story. Please keep doing this. We have reached 25% of the value needed! Wow. Wow! WOW! ❤ 8th June 2023 We are completely blown away by the generosity of you. As I type this, 13% of funds have been raised. Wow! This morning, our brave boy is in theatre having a hip operation. It's so hard to leave him in the anaesthetist room and even harder to wait. But we know he is in good hands with the surgical team. And we are so thankful for our friends and church family who are upholding him in prayer. Please know how much we value your help for David. There have been some tears shed this morning. Emotions are high. But we are touched by the love shown to us as a family ❤

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