Mum scared mould will kill three-year-old-daughter with ‘breathing difficulties’

  • london
  • March 12, 2023
  • Comments Off on Mum scared mould will kill three-year-old-daughter with ‘breathing difficulties’
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A mum is scared her three-year-old daughter with breathing difficulties will die from the mould covering their home.

Terri Harrigan’s daughter Ariella has been ‘sick most of her life’ and her mum believes it is because she has grown up surrounded by black mould in Hackney, east London.

The little girl, whose mattress is covered in the damp, struggles to breathe properly and has to use a salbutamol inhaler.

At one point it was so bad an ambulance had to be called, the mum claims.

The mum, 31, has complained to Hackney Council multiple times but said they have just painted over the mould.

Terri first discovered the issue in December 2019, just after moving into the property.

She found black mould growing on walls in her living room, kitchen, both bedrooms, and toilet – as well as in her storage cupboard, windows and ceilings – even spreading to her clothes and mattresses.

Despite her best efforts to wash the mould away herself – two to three times a week – it keeps growing back.

Terri, an NHS receptionist, said: ‘Ariella gets sick at least every two to three weeks now.

‘She really struggles with her breathing – and doctors have even written a letter to the council to say the mould is causing her health issues.

‘All I want is for her to be healthy and happy – my main concern as a new mum shouldn’t be that my three-year-old is going to die suddenly.’

Terri said she was ‘left without doubt’ that the mould was causing her daughter’s health issues when she discovered the wall behind her bed and her mattress ‘caked’ in it.

She said: ‘Ariella has to sleep next to the wall, otherwise she’ll fall out of bed. I try to do what I can by washing the wall behind her bed three to four times a week.

‘I suffer from asthma and migraines myself, so the mould often makes me ill as well. The council really needs to do something about it.

‘Since September 2020, they’ve come out to me three times – and each time, all they’ve done is paint over it.’

Doctors have reportedly sent a letter to the council, recommended they be re-housed but the family are still waiting seven months later.

Terri says her mental health has been ‘destroyed’ by the whole situation, because she is ‘constantly anxious about her children’, especially after the tragic death of two-year-old Awaab Ishak.

The council said: ‘We wholeheartedly apologise for the delay to repairs that Ms Harrigan has experienced following our survey on November 2022.

‘The Council carried out repair work relating to recurring damp in 2019, 2020, and again in January 2022.

‘The most recent issue – in November 2022 – was surveyed, but this work was delayed as a result of problems with the supply chain and a breakdown of communication at our end.

‘We have now made contact with Ms Harrigan to begin work to resolve all the issues at her earliest convenience.

‘As part of this, we will look at stronger measures to prevent future recurrence.

‘Hackney Council is one of the largest social landlords in the country, and we want to assure everyone living in one of our homes that tackling damp and mould is a priority for us.

‘We launched a housing repairs action plan – backed by an extra £1m investment – last year.

‘This includes inspecting all reports of damp and mould within five working days; reassessing all outstanding damp and mould complaints and ensuring they are prioritised based on the severity of the case, and the age and health of the people living in the home.’

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