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Charity completes building work so stroke victim no longer sleeps under stairs

30 May 2024 3 minute read
Keith Parry. Image: Band of Builders

The family of a stroke victim have thanked volunteers from a national construction charity who have built him a ground-floor extension so he can sleep in his own bedroom for the first time in more than two years.

Keith Parry, 70, has only left his house three times after suffering a severe stroke in late 2021, which left him in hospital for seven months.

The joiner, from Gaer, Newport, South Wales, was only able to return home after his wife had a specialist bed and lifting equipment installed in the lounge.

But he was left without any privacy or facilities and effectively lived under the stairs in his lounge, prompting the comparison by local healthcare professionals to fantasy character Harry Potter, who had to live in a cupboard under the stairs in the world-famous books.

Life changing

In an emotional handover, Mr Parry’s wife Linda thanked the volunteers from Band of Builders.

They built the extension – which includes a bedroom and wet room – as well as all the national and local companies that rallied around by donating everything from materials for the project to food and drinks for the volunteers.

“What Band of Builders has done will change our lives forever,” she said.

“Our gratitude will never be enough – and from the bottom of our hearts we thank all the volunteers who travelled from far and wide to build the extension with a bedroom and bathroom to give Keith his dignity back.

“The work has been of the highest standards and long may Band of Builders continue helping people like us.”

Image: Band of Builders

The father-of-three suffered a stroke in an upstairs bedroom at his home in late 2021 which robbed him of his speech and mobility.

Mr Parry spent seven months in different hospitals in south Wales undergoing rehabilitation.


He went home after a hospital bed and lifting equipment were installed in the lounge of their home, where he has slept ever since.

Because their house is at the bottom of a steep bank, his family cannot get him out of the house, so he has only left three times in the last two years.

When Mr Parry needs to attend medical appointments, two ambulance crews are required, and often the fire service is on hand to help as well.

Nearly 50 tradespeople – including plant workers, bricklayers, builders, roofers, plumbers, electricians and decorators – and other Band of Builders supporters volunteered on the three-week project, which was sponsored by Tarmac Blue Circle.

Garry Gregory, from Tarmac Blue Circle, added: “We’re extremely proud to once again be supporting Band of Builders with its latest project for Keith.

“We hope that this project has brought some comfort to him at this difficult time.

“The work the team is doing is extremely important for the industry and we look forward to continuing to make an impact with Band of Builders.”

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