November 17, 2020 4.59 pm This story is over 42 months old

DIY SOS change life of Scunthorpe family after two tragic deaths

The episode airs this Thursday

Over 300 tradespeople volunteered as DIY SOS helped to change the life of a struggling Scunthorpe family after a mother was forced to turn off life support for her daughter and husband.

For years Caroline Blanchard and her children Reece and Paige have had to live in the shadow of the garage and conservatory where the tragedies occurred.

BBC’s DIY SOS heard the family’s tragic story and wanted to help. Nick Knowles and the team behind the BBC One series put out a call to help Caroline Blanchard and her family and were inundated with offers.

Hundreds of tradespeople volunteered and the episode of DIY SOS: The Big Build will air on BBC One at 8pm on Thursday, November 19 at 8pm.

Almost all of the building materials were donated by generous suppliers, including fencing, carpets, railway sleepers for the garden and the kitchen.

Paige, Reece, Paul and Caroline Blanchard. | Photo: BBC

Paolo Proto, Executive Producer for BBC Studios’ DIY SOS: The Big Build, said: “To see so many incredible volunteers come out and support a local family is truly heart-warming, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank every last one of them

“The community of volunteers and trades has changed the lives of Caroline and her family and left a legacy that will continue long after the TV programme is forgotten. It’s amazing what can be done when people help each other.”

Caroline with her family before tragedy struck.

Family tragedy

Caroline Blanchard, 44, was unable to come to terms with her daughter’s death in a tragic accident at home in 2007. Her seven-year-old daughter Natasha was riding a mini motorbike when she rode into a cupboard and banged her head.

Doctors tried to save her life but eventually told Caroline and her husband Paul that she needed to be taken off life support.

The couple decided to try for another child, for which Paul had a vasectomy reversal to try and deal with their loss.

Caroline gave birth to Paige Hope in September 2012. Her brother Reece chose the name because it was a “new chapter” in their lives.

Tragedy struck the family a second time in March 2016 when former steel worker Paul complained of chest pains and visited the hospital 22 times.

Each time doctors said the pains were caused by anxiety but he suffered a cardiac arrest at home in front of his wife and daughter.

Paul spent 10 days on a life support machine before Caroline was forced, once again, to turn off the machine that was keeping her husband of 28 years alive.

Each time, she was brave enough to donate her loved one’s organs to help other families.