MUM Claire Cook wants to say thank you to all those helping to bring her daughter Gemma home.
Gemma had life-saving surgery to remove a tumour from her brain.
The nine-year-old was diagnosed with a rare condition called tuberous sclerosis, where tumours form on various parts of the body, including the brain when she was just 10 months old.
Gemma also has epilepsy and autism. In December, she had complex surgery in Bristol to remove a huge tumour on her brain.
Shortly after the operation she developed complications, which left her battling for life in intensive care and having part of her skull removed and placed in her stomach to relieve swelling on her brain.
Now, finally on the road to recovery, Gemma’s mum Claire, 36, and dad Rob, 41, are keen to bring her home.
But as Gemma has difficulty moving, she needs a room downstairs.
So Claire’s friends and family launched their very own DIY SOS appeal to convert the garage into a room.
Claire said: ‘Gemma has been able to come home, but we need to create a room for her downstairs.
‘I’ve been overwhelmed by the help of family and friends.
‘Someone has come forward to do the plastering, some to do electrics. People have just been amazing.’
And community spirit doesn’t stop there.
While the garage is converted, Claire contacted Hannah’s Holiday Homes – a charity which offers a holiday to families with poorly children – to see if they could be put up for a few weeks.
The charity, run by Pam Marshall, in memory of her daughter Hannah Westbrook, who died in 2004, does not open the Hayling Island home until March 11.
But instead firm Eaton Aerospace, which is supporting Hannah’s Holiday Homes, is paying for Gemma and Claire to stay at the Langstone Hotel until March 1, when it is hoped work will be completed.
Claire added: ‘We just couldn’t have asked for more.
‘We have a ground-floor room and Gemma is able to shower. The help has been great.’