The garage and the conservatory had become a place in her house that reminded her of tragic events, until she got help.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on December 4, 2020. It has since been updated.
Caroline Blanchard from Scunthorpe is terrified of two rooms in her own house that trigger memories she doesn't want to remember. The heartbroken mother had not fully recovered from one traumatic event when another followed and it shattered her completely.
It all began when she lost her 7-year-old daughter Natasha to a tragic accident back in 2007. According to Grimbsy Live, the little girl was playing in the garden with her brother Reece when she asked if she could play on the neighbor’s mini-moto bike. While Caroline's husband, Paul went to get her helmet, Natasha rode the bike and struck her head on a cupboard in the garage.
Even though she endured a severe injury to her head she told Paul, "It’s OK, Daddy," and gave him a pat on the back. Two days later she passed away in the hospital. Recalling the tragedy, a tearful Caroline said on tonight's show, "I just remember the surgeon coming in and telling me she was bleeding that badly she couldn't stop it." The little one had to be taken off the life-support machine and two days later she passed away.
Unfortunately, Paul never recovered from the guilt and would sit in the garage for hours. Even though Caroline became a mom to a daughter in 2012 with the hopes of a "new chapter in their lives," things didn't change. She said that her husband lost the "sparkle" from his eye. His health became worse as time went by and the doctors telling him that the pain he was feeling was due to anxiety.
Miss you both so much, I will always love you ❤️❤️ xxx pic.twitter.com/VF017izYuQ— Caroline Blanchard (@blanche34) March 4, 2019
Just a few days after suffering from chest pains, Paul suffered a cardiac arrest in 2016. Caroline and her daughter witnessed the distressing sight. He was kept on life support but 10 days later, Caroline had to make the horrifying decision of switching it off once again. The grieving mum and wife was left with two places in the house that reminded her of loss - the garage, and the conservatory. However, there were still memories attached to the house and so she decided to stay back, reported The Mirror.
Missing you on Fathers Day and everyday ❤️❤️❤️ xxx Look after my baby girl xxx pic.twitter.com/WmZqc97HF5— Caroline Blanchard (@blanche34) June 16, 2019
This is when people from BBC's show DIY SOS: The Big Build and local tradespeople came to her rescue. They helped her rebuild the place so that she and her family didn't have to relive the heartbreaking memory every day. An emotional Reece told the presenter Nick Knowles, "I just wish I could see my dad again. That would be amazing if I could."
A friend of Caroline divulged, "Caroline, Reece, and Paige are grieving and trying to rebuild their lives without their father, husband, and sister. But there are two huge obstacles to their mental health; the daily visual reminders of the garage and the conservatory, where their two loved ones died."
The friend added, "Caroline and Reece are going through grief counselling but back at home they’re constantly reliving the traumas, as the garage is a monument in the middle of the back garden to Natasha’s death and is where Paul lost himself to his grief."
Happy times love hearing his voice ❤️❤️ xxx pic.twitter.com/u5Db0EsSLP— Caroline Blanchard (@blanche34) May 28, 2019
Almost all of the building material was donated by local tradespeople and suppliers with almost 300 volunteers arriving to help the family. They decided to remove the conservatory entirely and replace the garage with something new.
Executive Producer of the show, Paolo Proto, 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 program is forgotten. It’s amazing what can be done when people help each other," he added.
Acknowledging everyone who worked on the project, Knowles said, "We weren't sure ourselves whether we could do this as a five-day build. But it's pretty amazing what you've achieved. Remember that you've made the change, not us."
Caroline took to Twitter to appreciate Knowles and wrote, "Today my son got to spend a few hours with this truly caring man, with all Reece has suffered he has come away feeling so positive about our future as a family, could never thank him enough for what a difference he has made."
Today my son got to spend a few hours with this truly caring man, with all Reece has suffered he has come away feeling so positive about our future as a family, could never thank him enough for what a difference he has made ❤️❤️ xxx pic.twitter.com/zbEBEVYLBw— Caroline Blanchard (@blanche34) April 26, 2019