Toddler living in moldy apartment hospitalized with pneumonia
A mother of four who lives in a moldy apartment fears for her baby’s health after he was hospitalized with pneumonia.
Charlotte Greene has made many attempts to fix leaks and dampness in her two-bedroom home, but the problem keeps coming back.
The 26-year-old from Lewisham, southeast London, has been on a resettlement priority list since April 2022, but due to high demand, council say it will take at least three years for her to relocate, reports The Mirror. .
She claims that just a few weeks ago, her young daughter was suffocated after she was taken to the hospital with bronchiolitis.
Now, just a few weeks later, her two-year-old son also ended up in the hospital with difficulty breathing.
It came after a coroner ruled that mold exposure caused a respiratory illness that claimed the life of two-year-old Avaab Ishaq in Rochdale.
His family repeatedly complained about their apartment, but no action was taken until Avaab’s death in November 2020.
Referring to her son, Charlotte said she first became concerned when he developed a high fever and found it difficult to breathe.
She took him to the hospital on Boxing Day, and a week later, on New Year’s Day, he was released.
He is now recovering but still needs an asthma pump.
Charlotte said: “He was on 15 liters of oxygen when he was admitted to the hospital and an x-ray showed that he had shadows in his lungs.
“He didn’t eat, didn’t drink, and had a constant temperature of 39.1 degrees, which was very high.
“I tried to get him to walk in the hospital, but he just froze in his legs because he was lethargic and didn’t stand on them for so long.
“Doctors tried to keep him on oxygen through a tube, but because he is autistic, he did not like the masks on his face. So it was hard.”
Speaking at the hospital, Charlotte told how she was afraid to bring her son back home because she believes that black mold on their property could aggravate his condition.
She said: “Eventually he will get sick again because he will inhale all the spores. Anything on his chest – mold won’t help.
“My partner meanwhile cleaned out all the walls as best he could and painted them for now until I get back.”
Charlotte said her son had already been in the hospital once with difficulty breathing when he had bronchiolitis at the age of six weeks, but this is the first time he has been hospitalized overnight.
She worries that his poor health may be due to the black mold that has covered their belongings and has even seeped through the insulating walls designed to prevent the problem.
Charlotte, who pays £409 a month through universal credit, said: ‘We wipe down mold daily but it keeps reappearing.
“We tried a mold cleaner we bought from the store and sprayed it when the kids weren’t home.
“When my partner and I leave the house, we open all doors and windows to ventilate the room and get rid of condensation.
“Then when we get home, we close the doors and turn on the heating for a while to warm up the room before the kids go to bed.
“But technically, I’m paying municipal rent to live there, so they should give me back some respect by helping to maintain the property.”
Charlotte claims she has contacted Greenwich Council many times since the problem arose in 2017, but says that while they have provided temporary solutions, the root of the problem still remains.
She said, “I’m just afraid to take my kids home. I believe that if we lived in a house without dampness and mold, then their breathing problems would definitely disappear.”
“Even my kids are starting to say, ‘Mom, it really smells really bad in here,’ and I have to tell them we have windows and they’re open, but there’s not much we can do.”
A Greenwich Council spokesman said: “We are aware of a leak in a nearby house that is affecting Ms Greene’s home and we have scheduled repairs in the coming days.
“The Council is working diligently to resolve Ms Green’s housing situation.
“Ms Green’s family has already been medically reviewed and if there are further changes in their circumstances, we will review them again as we evaluate all housing options on a case by case basis.
“We encourage residents to report their circumstances through the appropriate channels to help us understand and manage priorities.
“More than 25,000 people are waiting for housing in Royal Greenwich, but we are operating in a market where local housing is almost non-existent.
“The suitability of the proposed housing takes into account the needs of the entire household and takes into account factors related to education, health, suitability of property, employment and any necessary family support.”
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