Their little cottage in need of repair, Wayde Dunley and his wife, Chelsea, submitted their final audition tape for Channel 7 renovation show House Rules in July 2017. With his landscaping skills and her passion for interior design, they dreamed of turning their tiny slice of NSW South Coast into their “dream home”.
“Wayde and I had always joked about going on [the show] before we even bought the house that really needed renovating,” Chelsea told Now to Love.
“We only bought a two-bedroom miner’s cottage that was 110 years old so it needed a lot of love and obviously it was quite small, so once we had our daughter Koa [in 2016], that was the thing that gave us a push.”
But the following day, with their tape filed, a tragedy shattered that dream.
— #HouseRules (@HouseRulesOn7) July 22, 2018
The 28-year-old West Tigers player fell while climbing down a rock ledge at Bundeena, south of Sydney, during a fortnightly fishing trip. He was rushed to hospital with critical head injuries, but doctors were unable to save him.
On Sunday night’s episode of House Rules, Chelsea shared Wayde’s story and spoke of how, through his death, her generous husband had given the gift of life.
“His heart remained beating really strong, so it was only fitting for the person that Wayde was, that we donated his heart,” she said. “So he’s gone on to save another person’s life, and his heart continues to beat.”
In an Instagram post on the anniversary of Wayde’s death, Chelsea wrote that the recipient had contacted her with a message of thanks.