Brain tumour survivor 'blown away' with free room makeover provided by Northampton tradesman

Bob Chapman was the lucky winner of a competition to have his room transformed from a storage space into a stylish bedroom with brand new furniture

Monday, 10th January 2022, 10:52 am

A Northampton family has expressed delight after winning a competition hosted by a local tradesman to provide a family in need with a room renovation.

Rewind to 2020, Lee Duggan, of L D Home Improvement Ltd, asked for people to nominate a friend or family member in need of a room makeover to the value of £2,020. After shortlisting around 60 entries, he finally narrowed them down to one entrant.

Bob Chapman, who lives of Wellingborough Road, was the lucky winner. He was nominated by his daughter, Jodie Chapman, who said she really wanted to give her dad something nice after he survived meningitis and a brain tumour that left him paralysed and without a part of his skull.

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Bob Chapman in his newly renovated room. Photo: Kirsty Edmonds.

Jodie said: "I was just scrolling through my news feed on Facebook and I come across Lee's building company. I love entering competitions so I thought it would be a great opportunity to give something to my dad after everything he has done for us and everything he has been through."

Bob was diagnosed with his brain tumour in December 1995. A part of his skull had to be removed so that the tumour could be taken out of his brain but, when the skull was replaced in a suspected botched surgery, it became infected and had to be removed again.

Bob underwent a total of four operations in 14 months and, during that time, contracted meningitis, which left him disabled because he was left without a large part of his skull for a long time. This left him with a degenerative brain condition that rendered him paralysed and cost him his job.

Jodie continued: "He probably wouldn't have been paralysed today if it wasn't for the infection.

Bob's room before and after the renovation.

"For him to wake up in a lovely room how he likes it and it's the first thing he sees when he wakes up, I thought it would be a good opportunity to enter for him. Just so happened we won it and we found out there were connections with how Lee's dad passed."

Lee, who has been running his building company for more than five years, knew first hand the devastation caused by cancer. His father passed away at the age of 43 after he was also diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Lee said: "For me, running the competition was to give something back. I opened it for everyone. We shortlisted it down to 12 out of 60 odd entries and then we looked at the budget and what we could actually do. Some people wanted loft conversions doing, which wasn't going to happen. It went from 12 to six then, from there, it was a random generator.

"It was heart-wrenching to read all of the nominations. There were people with disabilities, families who were borderline homeless; there were lots and lots of entries - any one of them would have been deserving to have a room made over.

Jodie Chapman with her dad, Bob Chapman and local tradesman, Lee Duggan. Photo: Kirsty Edmonds.

"There were things there that hit home for myself and, again with being in the service, it was nice to give something back."

Bob's new room has been given a new lease of life with fresh matte dark blue wallpaper, a feature wall and a variety of brand new furniture including a bed, TV and a 'supportive' chair.

His other daughter, Georgina Chapman, helped to plan the makeover with Lee's office manager, Jenny Molloy. Together, they decided on the colour scheme and furniture for the room.

The renovation took a total of four days for Lee and his team to complete, starting on Tuesday, January 4 and completing the room on Friday, January 7.

Bob, talking about his reaction upon seeing his newly refurbished bedroom, said: "I was just blown away. My room has been the storage room of the house, if you know what I mean, because - as a parent - you always put yourself last so, if anything needed shifting, it was always put in my room."

"Don't let anything get stored in there now," Lee joked.

Bob added: "I haven't got used to it yet but it's just nice to have somewhere fresh - do you know what I mean?"

To find out more about Lee's business, visit the L.D Home Improvements LTD Facebook page.