Nick Knowles has paid tribute to a severely disabled teenager, who appeared on DIY SOS, after he passed away.
In April 2019, a moving episode of the home renovation show told the story of widower Darren and his sons Ollie, Mike and Harvey from Hull. Ollie was born with Hydrocephalus, known as water on the brain, and has tragically passed away.
Sharing a beautiful picture of Darren and Ollie, who was 17 when the show aired, Nick, 57, wrote: ‘We @DIYSOS send condolences to Darren & family on the sad passing of wonderful Ollie who is missed & was so loved’.
Darren’s tragic story broke viewers hearts, as he told of life caring for Ollie, who needed 24-care due to his Hydrocephalus, before also losing his childhood sweetheart wife and becoming paralysed himself over the space of two years.
Heartache: Nick Knowles has paid tribute to a severely disabled teenager, who appeared on DIY SOS, after he passed away earlier this week
Hydrocephalus is a build-up of fluid in the brain, which can damage tissue. Aside from an abnormally-sized head, other symptoms can include headache, nausea, vomiting, confusion and vision problems.
The cause is usually unknown but may be due to issues with cavities in the brain or an underlying health problem that affects blood flow, such as heart disease.
Tragedy struck the family in 2017 when Darren, a roofer who had worked on DIY SOS community projects before, was diagnosed with Caude Equina, an injury of the spinal cord that left him paralysed from the waist down.
In further devastation, Ollie’s mum and Darren’s childhood sweetheart Sarah, passed away on Boxing Day 2018 and was found dead in her bed by her other two sons.
His boy: Last year, a moving episode of the home renovation show told the story of widower Darren and his sons Ollie, Mike and Harvey from Hull. Ollie was born with Hydrocephalus, known as water on the brain, and has tragically passed away
Holding on: Ollie is survived by his dad Darren and brothers Mike and Harvey (pictured)
Outpouring: Viewers took to Twitter to honour the late teen
WHAT IS HYDROCEPHALUS?
Hydrocephalus is a build-up of fluid in the brain, which can damage tissue.
Aside from an abnormally-sized head, other symptoms can include headache, nausea, vomiting, confusion and vision problems.
Hydrocephalus’ cause is usually unknown but may be due to issues with cavities in the brain or an underlying health problem that affects blood flow, such as heart disease.
It can also be acquired by damage to the brain due to a head injury, stroke or tumour.
Treatment is shunt surgery, which involves implanting a thin tube into the brain to drain away excess fluid to another part of the body where it can be absorbed into the bloodstream.
If untreated, hydrocephalus can be fatal due to increased pressure compressing the brainstem, which is responsible for regulating heart rates and breathing.
A patient’s prognosis after surgery depends on their age and general health.
Source: Brain and Spine Foundation
After becoming wheelchair bound due to his condition, Darren had to sleep in a room with Ollie downstairs in their house as he could no longer manage the stairs.
The episode, which aired last year, saw the DIY SOS team renovate the home to make the living space more wheelchair accessible.
As the new space was unveiled, Darren said on-camera: ‘Amazing. What you have done for us guys, it’s our next chapter…
‘It’s the next step forward which is massive for us. Words don’t even seem enough…
‘I have been in there and I didn’t even recognise my house.
‘In fact it’s not a house, you have brought the home back for us. I can actually get upstairs and it might seem nothing to you guys but to me it’s everything…
‘You have given me the full house back where I just had the downstairs for so long.
‘It’s something we needed so bad and it couldn’t have come at a better time. It’s amazing. Thank you so much.’
Following Nick’s tweet on Thursday evening, viewers flooded social media to honour Ollie and also share in Darren’s grief.
Viewers wrote: ‘This is absolutely devastating news. Tonight’s #diysos was a real tear jerker…
Darren is clearly a wonderful person and he has a lovely family…
Can’t imagine what he and Ollie’s brothers are going through. Life is so terribly cruel…
‘Great job on the house btw… That was possibly one of the best if not the best builds I’ve seen…
What is cauda equina syndrome?
Cauda equina syndrome is a serious condition where the nerves at the very bottom of the spinal cord become compressed.
- lower back pain
- numbness in your groin
- paralysis of one or both legs
- rectal pain
- loss of bowel control (bowel incontinence)
- loss of bladder control (urinary incontinence)
- pain in the inside of your thighs
Doctors advise seeking medical assistance immediately if a person develops these symptoms.
They should visit their GP or the accident and emergency (A&E) department of the nearest hospital.
If cauda equina syndrome is not promptly treated, the nerves to the bladder and bowel can become permanently damaged.
Source: NHS Choices
‘So deserved, such a lovely family. Really touching. RIP Ollie…
‘That show had me in pieces. I only caught it at the midway point so didn’t get full back story and was still bowled over. Great, meaningful TV. RIP Ollie…
‘This was by far the most heart wrenching episode I’ve ever watched…
‘To be dealt such devastating news multiple times is so unfair…
‘But such a beautiful and strong family, I hope you find comfort in all your memories and future memories as the family unit you are. #RIPOLLIE…
‘Broke my heart all over again reading this after rewatching their episode again tonight…
‘A truly wonderful family who, despite all the tragedy, have such a strong bond and never give up attitude to life I’m sure Ollie & Mum are watching over them with pride Sparkles #RIPOllie…
‘I’ve never felt more heartbreak for a family than I have just watching that episode then reading that tweet. God bless’.
Life changing: Darren detailed how life changing the renovations had been