DIY SOS: Heartbroken family of disabled man ‘desperately seeking answers’

18-year-old died in hospital during lockdown

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The family of disabled young man whose life touched DIY SOS viewers are searching for answers following his unexpected passing.

The Hudson family from East Yorkshire featured in an April 2019 episode of the BBC renovation series.

It followed wheelchair-bound widower Darren and his 18-year-old son Ollie as they tried to look to the future following the loss of wife and mum Sarah.

She had been found dead by her sons on Boxing Day aged just 45.

Darren and his family featured on DIY SOS last year (Credit: BBC)

What happened to DIY SOS star Ollie?

But now Darren and his stepsons want to know why Ollie died in hospital during lockdown after being admitted with gastric illness.

Darren told reporters that Ollie, born with hydrocephalus, was spending the night in hospital for observation.

We have no answers at the moment.

But when the ex roofer arrived to visit, he was given the terrible news Ollie had been found unresponsive and died.

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And although it has been reported Ollie’s death was not linked to coronavirus, his cause of death has reportedly not been confirmed.

DIY SOS dad’s fears

Darren told MailOnline that Ollie was alone when he passed away and that they had called for ambulances four times in a month. It wasn’t until the fourth time that medics said he would remain in hospital.

But due to lockdown restrictions Darren was unable to stay with Ollie overnight.

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Darren said: “This is one of my fears of him becoming an adult. He could not speak for himself you see. I got a phone call the next morning saying he had had a settled night.”

However, he received another call the next morning, April 16, with the unexpected and terrible news.

And devastated Darren feels more of an explanation is due despite being told Ollie’s death was due to SUDEP. SUDEP is the sudden, unexpected death of someone with epilepsy who was otherwise healthy.

He is also hopeful Ollie’s VNS – a small electrical device implanted under the skin of his chest – will reveal more, too.

Darren’s family were grateful for their local community’s help (Credit: BBC)

Ollie’s funeral was held on May 12, with mourners limited to 10 people. It is believed an inquest will be held when the results of a post mortem carried out in Nottingham are confirmed.

Family is seeking answers

Darren continued: “We have no answers at the moment. Every other time he has been in hospital we have never left him. We have slept with him. But this is the way it is with the COVID situation.”

He added: “I challenged straightaway that it was SUDEP because I was not happy.”

Darren also claimed the episode of DIY SOS featuring his family was due to be repeated just days after Ollie’s death.

However, he requested the repeat be postponed.

DIY SOS presenter Nick Knowles passed on his condolences (Credit: BBC)

Presenter Nick Knowles reflected: “We at DIY SOS send condolences to Darren and family on the sad passing of wonderful Ollie who is missed and was so loved.”

When the episode of DIY SOS was filmed, Darren was sharing Ollie’s downstairs bedroom and slept in a hospital bed.

Darren had been left paralysed from the waist down and unable to walk following surgery for a degenerative spinal condition.

He emotionally thanked the team of volunteers on the show for helping adapt his home for Darren and Ollie’s accessibility needs.

Darren thanked them: “What you’ve done for us is our next chapter.

“It is the next step forward which is massive for us.”

He added: “The memories will always be here. She’s always with us.

“It’s a forever home for us, we will never have to change anything in here again. Thank you so much.”

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