I have created this petition in relation to my application for suitable housing, following my discharge from hospital on 23/06/15 after an infection in my brain effectively caused my body to 'shut down'. I was admitted into hospital on 03/04/14, deemed quadriplegic, and was totally unable to move any part of my body for 9 months. Although I am now on a Neurological Rehabilitation Ward at St Georges Hospital in London, making great improvements, I am still relatively immobile. This illness has left me urine incontinent, and I have recently had surgery to connect a tube straight from my bladder, through a hole in my stomach. I have also had two operations to install a shunt with which to collect the excessive build up of Cerebral Spinal Fluid around my brain. These have unfortunately been unsuccessful, and I’m left needing lumbar punctures on a weekly basis. This will also need to continue on my return home.
Currently I am managing to climb a maximum of four steps on a staircase, using both hands to hold on to a banister. This takes me 20 minutes upwards and is extremely difficult. This can also not be completed unsupervised. I can walk up to a maximum of 30 metres, using a walking frame, and am self propelling myself in a wheelchair otherwise. I live in a first floor flat that has no disabled access. There are a series of four wide concrete steps (with no hand rail) to enter the building. I would then need to contend with a full set of steps (14) to access my actual property. Once inside, I will be unable to have a wash on a daily basis (other than a strip wash), as I only have a bath. I will also face the challenge of getting around the property, preparing meals for myself and my family etc. I am also currently unable to stand to complete personal care tasks. My hard working husband is out working from 7am until 10pm and I have a 9 year old daughter.
I would obviously benefit from a move to a property better suited to my needs. When I return home next month, I will effectively become a prisoner, unable to leave my property. As a practising Christian, Wife, Mother, and University Student (studying Occupational Therapy), it is essential for me to be able to leave my home and stay connected to my community and the ‘outside world’. I will also need to attend Neurology, Urology and Rheumatology (I have Rheumatoid Arthritis) appointments at my local hospital, and also travel to London once weekly for lumbar punctures.
I have been on the list for rehousing for about a year now. In that year we have bid on three properties, and come first on all three. But each time the council have asked for yet another report from the hospital, have suspended our application, and given the property to someone else. This is terribly frustrating! The latest report was sent a few weeks ago now, yet we are still suspended from bidding on any further properties, with no explanation as to why.
This has now become a matter of urgency and so I would appreciate a swift course of action from yourselves. This has turned the life of myself, and that of my family, upside down. And what should be a happy period in my recovery (returning home to my loving family), is now marred with worry and stress.