Baz answers SOS call to help MND sufferer

DIY SOS: The Big Build Ireland is back on our screens from tomorrow (Sunday, April 3)
Baz answers SOS call to help MND sufferer

Baz Ashmawy in the first episode of DIY SOS: The Big Build Ireland on RTE1 tomorrow (SUNDAY, April 3), with the Johnny Alyward and his family

IN November, 2020, dad-of-five Johnny Alyward was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND), and a few months later, he was told he had the most aggressive type.

He and his wife Lynn have two young boys, one of whom is on the autism spectrum and for whom she acts as full time carer.

They were living with Lynn’s older sons Cian and Aaron, in New Ross when Johnny was diagnosed and were left with no means of adapting or owning a house that would cater for him as the disease advances.

Johnny’s elderly bachelor uncle, John, gifted him a field in his native Kilkenny and the mission to build a home for him takes centre stage in the first episode in a new series of DIY SOS: The Big Build Ireland on RTÉ1 at 6.30pm tomorrow (SUNDAY, April 3).

The challenge is to build Johnny, who has three children from a previous marriage, a house that will provide security and comfort for him and his family throughout his remaining days and into the future for his young family.

Chief-motivator Baz Ashmawy is joined again for this second series by some familiar faces in designers Aoife Rhattigan, Kerry Hiddleston, Peter Doneghan, and Helena Ryan, a health and safety officer. 

Together with a new build team, and an ever-increasing and amazing group of volunteers, national and local suppliers, Baz is a busy man corralling and motivating a hard-working team through the pressures and challenges of a nine-day build.

Baz said: “I was absolutely blown away when I met the Aylward family, and am proud to now call them my friends.

“Anyone who knows Johnny, Lynn and the kids knows what I mean when I say this family is built on heart and laughs and every one of them was a pleasure to get to know. Johnny’s a born entertainer and an absolute charmer.”

Later in the four-part series, Baz helps a team of volunteers in North Dublin renovate the home of the Costello family, after young mother Laura Costello was left suddenly paralysed following a rare birth event, while giving birth to her fourth baby in 2020.

In the third episode Baz and the DIY SOS team meet the Parsons family and set about building their much-needed extended home in Meath.

In the final episode, the team pack up their tools and head to Waterford city to help Laura Sheridan, a mum of three and former Nurse of the Year who was diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Furthermore, her beautiful twin boys were found to have a form of autism requires constant supervision and care.

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