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Wednesday, 24 September 2014

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Disabled Cumbrian boy’s DIY SOS story airs on TV

The long wait is finally over as the tale of a disabled Cumbrian youngster and the community which rallied around him will be aired on television tonight.

Noah Wall photo
Shelly Wall and Noah with DIY SOS presenter Nick Knowles

Two-year-old Noah Wall and his family will be shown on the BBC1 programme DIY SOS: Big Build at 8pm.

The young boy was diagnosed with hydrocephalus and spina bifida in the womb, and his parents were warned before he was born to prepare themselves for the worst.

Despite this, Noah has gone on to astound doctors almost daily and his family has actively campaigned for greater awareness of the importance of women taking folic acid three months before they become pregnant.

Parents Shelly and Robert were nominated as a deserving family to benefit from DIY SOS, with their Abbeytown home described as unfit for a modern family.

Almost 14 months ago the BBC1 show’s presenters and experts arrived to transform the family home.

The programme spent 10 days at the beginning of July last year transforming the Wall’s home. While it provides experts – and meals – the work is carried out entirely through the generosity of local tradespeople, suppliers and volunteers.

Although no one could reveal too much about the work they carried out, presenter – and housewife’s heartthrob Nick Knowles – told the News & Star: “It was -19C in the kitchen in winter; to put it in context, your domestic freezer runs at -18C.

“The house was just getting in their way: it was stopping them being able to interact and care for Noah in the way they wanted to.”

The public has received its first glimpse into the house as it was in the television trailer for the show, which has been aired over the past few days.

As well as seeing firsthand the gaping ceilings and sparse walls, viewers also get their first insight into the emotions.

Shelly admitted that there will be “floods of tears” from friends and family as they gather tonight for a special party to watch the show together.

“We are excited,” she added. “But a bit nervous at seeing ourselves on screen.

“We can’t wait to see all the different people who have been involved – it means we can finally say thank you.”

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