This Bamber Bridge man whose wife has MS is appealing for community support

He has been battling Storms Dennis and Ciara to build a home extension for his wife, who has been left bed-bound by multiple sclerosis (MS).

Monday, 2nd March 2020, 5:00 pm
Stuart Manning with his wife Caroline, who has severe MS.

But now Stuart Manning, of Bamber Bridge, is calling on the community's support after running out of funds for the work.

Stuart must fund-raise £2,500 to pay for bricklayers to build the walls of a downstairs bedroom and bathroom.

He said: "I've been spending every spare minute at the weekend doing the work, while juggling a full-time job and looking after my wife Caroline. I've been out in the storms, even when it's been raining sideways."

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Caroline, originally of Lostock Hall, was diagnosed with MS in 2006. In this chronic condition, the coating that protects the nerves is damaged, causing symptoms like eye problems, pins and needles, fatigue and pain.

The 51-year-old now requires 24/7 care and is both bed-bound and reliant on a wheelchair. She requires a downstairs bedroom and bathroom, as she can no longer be safely lifted upstairs.

While she was fighting for her life just before Christmas, Stuart was dealt another devastating blow when South Ribble Borough Council rejected the couple's application for a disability grant to fund the home amendments. He was told he could afford them on his own.

The 47-year-old then began fund-raising, which has allowed him to almost complete the ground work, before running out of money.

"Caroline came out of hospital for Christmas but has since been admitted a couple of times due to infections," Stuart said.

"She is now back home and looking forward to the extension but we now have building material stacked all over the place. It's frustrating to see it there."

The stress of the work has even started to affect his own well-being.

"I'm not sleeping well. It's taking me hours to get to sleep, as I'm thinking about everything that needs doing. It's hard for my head to shut down," he said.

Stuart would also welcome fund-raising ideas, or any sponsorship from local businesses.

He added: "We're not expecting people to do things for free as everyone's got bills and mortgages to pay for.

"It's been quite moving because people we don't even know have been offering to help or donate money."

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