Jaguar, Cobra and Cougar Welch with their dad, Richard before he died.
Jaguar, Cobra and Cougar Welch with their dad, Richard before he died. Contributed

Devastating reason this family lives in a caravan

NERYS Welch and her three children live in a tiny caravan in Bauple.

With no running water, washing is done by hand and showering by buckets.

The family cooks in the caravan on two small gas burners as there is no oven.

Their unfinished home stands metres away on the property - the dream of their late husband and father, Richard.

Richard lost his battle with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in August, seven years after he had been diagnosed, and months before the house could be completed.

Now Nery and her two daughters, Jaguar and Cobra, and son Cougar want to honour their father's dream and complete the house.

However, this has proved a huge challenge.

The children, aged 10, 11 and 13, have autism, with one being profoundly affected.

Nerys can't work as she cares for them full-time and home-schools all three children.

Family and friends, including Richard's sister Linda Milburn, have rallied around the family in support.

"I promised my brother that somehow I would make sure Nerys and the kids would be okay. I have no Idea how Nerys will manage this on her own," RicharMs Milburn said.

When Richard was diagnosed in 2012, months of gruelling chemotherapy followed to get him into remission before a vital stem cell transplant could take place.

Finally, after eight months in hospital, his transplant was successful.

The brave man's recovery was gradual, but the Welch family finally settled in Bauple.

This is where the loving father, a builder by trade, decided while he was well enough.

He was going to build his family the home they deserved.

Financial and health restraints, two hip replacements and a shoulder reconstruction meant building slowly progressed to a half-finished state before Richard died.

Earlier this year, Richard developed respiratory difficulties due to complications from his transplant.

He was treated with more chemotherapy and anti-rejection drugs.

However, due to years of medication and steroids, his body was unable to withstand the harsh regimen and his organs failed.

Ms Milburn has set up a GoFundMe page to support the Welch family.

With a goal of raising $100,000, the campaign has brought in just over $5000 as of the time of publication.

She is calling on the community to help with construction, or in any way they can.

"Help me help a family get on their feet," she said.

"It won't bring Richard back, but it will help finish what he started," Linda said.