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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Jessica Sansome

BBC DIY SOS tears as family’s disabled daughter tragically dies two weeks before filming

Nick Knowles couldn't hide his emotions during the latest episode of DIY SOS. The incredible BBC One show was back on screens on Tuesday night (June 14) as the team and tradespeople from the local area came together to pull off another impressive project for a deserving family.

But the Chapman family's already agonising ordeal was made worse weeks before filming for the show began. Dad Peter was in the process of building an extension for his family at their home in Charlton Kings, near Cheltenham, when he received a devastating diagnosis.

While caring 24/7 for his wife and Sarah and daughter Suzanne, who are at different stages of a long-term genetic disorder called myotonic dystrophy, the 60-year-old former car mechanic and hospital porter was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Sadly, Peter's mother also died a few years ago, so he and Sarah, 55, took in his 64-year-old autistic brother Steve, who works part-time at a local launderette and also assists with care.

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In order to make more space for specialist equipment and their wheelchairs, Peter set about building an extension to adapt the house to meet everyone's needs - but time and money ran out before it was finished.

As the health of daughter Suzanne, 35, who has the mental age of 12, and wife Sarah continued to deteriorate and Steve’s needs expanded, Peter struggled to finish work on the house and find the hours in the day to care for all his family. Then just before the DIY SOS team moved in to help, Sarah and Peter's daughter Margaret, 31, who had the same condition as her mum and older sister, sadly passed away.

"As time went on, we realised it was going to get worse. And it did," Peter said during the emotional episode which left host Nick even fighting back the tears.

The Chapman family with Nick and the DIY SOS team (BBC)

But there was work to be getting on with and the DIY SOS team started by fixing the things that Peter had tried to do by himself. However, they encountered unexpected problems Storm Dennis arrived and put the Big Build into jeopardy. However, nothing can stop the team from finishing what they started and they managed to completely transform Peter and Sarah's home.

At the end, Sarah told Nick that she wished Margaret could have seen the transformation, adding: "I don’t think that thank you is going to cover it."

And as ever the show left viewers in tears. @Lady_Rachelle72 tweeted: "#DIYSOS Hearing the families story at the beginning of the show had me in tears.. i'm now sobbing.. this family deserve it so much!! Great work team!! In fact, incredible work!!!" @Audge3000 commented: "I have tears streaming down my face right now #DIYSOS."

@FairwaysAndFood commented: "Well @MrNickKnowles and the @DIYSOS team, you have me in tears again. There are some beautiful people in this world and this program reminds me that with every episode. Gorgeous house for a wonderful family that deserve ever help with their challenging life. #DIYSOS."

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