A generous couple, being hailed ‘superheroes’ after they adopted four children with severe medical needs, were the centre of DIY SOS.
Garry and Kyle Ratcliffe, from Kent, adopted 13-year-old Haydn who has cerebral palsy, 11-year-old Bella who has Down’s Syndrome, six-year-old Curtis who is blind, severely epileptic and has cerebral palsy, and Bella’s six-year-old sister Phoebe who is physically healthy but suffers from post traumatic stress disorder.
The family appeared on the heartwarming TV show because the were all living in a very cramped three-bedroom bungalow overflowing with medical supplies.
In just nine days, the DIY SOS team knocked down the tiny house and built a new five-bedroom home from scratch – a record build for them.
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Stay-at-home dad Kyle, 39, said to Kent Online:
You know when you go to the dentist and sit and read through the glossy homes magazines at the amazing designer houses?
Well that’s what we now live in, a beautiful, glossy magazine home. Our forever family now has a forever home.
One of their close friends and counsellor, Jenny Whittle, who has supported them through the multiple adoptions, said:
They are superheroes. It’s very much a way of life for them, I never hear them complain.
Garry and Kyle see the child they don’t see the label. They are a fabulous family and I’ve been privileged to work with them all these years.
The DIY SOS team initially looked to try and extend the Ratcliffe’s homes but realised it was not feasible so demolished it at the beginning of September and rebuilt it in October.
Kyle said he ‘couldn’t believe it was ours’ and described the new build as ‘Aladdin’s cave’.
The new spacious five bedroom house has three bathrooms so that the six of them don’t have to share one toilet anymore.
In the old bungalow Curtis was forced to sleep in a cot in the living room, with his sister Phoebe beside him on the couch, while Haydn had a small bedroom and Bella stayed in a makeshift set-up in the boot room.
Over 100 volunteers plus Nick Knowles and his team took on the challenge and built the home complete with state-of-the-art medical technology including cameras to monitor the children.
The heart-warming episode is an hour long and was shown on BBC One on Thursday night.