Mum says son, 12, rushed to hospital 3 times with breathing issues due to mouldy home

An asthmatic boy who lives in a home “covered in mould” has been rushed to hospital with breathing issues three times in recent weeks.

Laura Nicholson, 37, said the chronic dampness has spread throughout her council property leaving walls wet to the touch and black with fungus.

Her 12-year-old son, Kayden, has to “catch his breath” when walking into the bathroom and has even been sent home from school due to his health problems.

Laura believes the dampness is “triggering” his lung condition, and has to clean the house daily for her three children.

She has reported the issue to the council numerous times, but now feels at her “wits’ end”.

The mum, from in Motherwell, Scotland, told the Daily Record : “I’m crying out for help and I feel like I’m getting nowhere. It’s like I’m being ignored and my children’s lives are at risk. I don’t know where else to turn with this and it’s affecting our health.

“I am at my wits’ end trying to protect my children. The dampness started when we moved into the property six years ago but it wasn’t as bad then.

“As the years have gone, it’s gotten worse but it has been ridiculous since last year. The carpets are wet and the walls are black. My son has been at the hospital three times in the last month and half with his asthma. He’s been sent home from school.

“The damp just triggers him. I’ll see him walking to the bathroom and he’s having to catch his breath because of the dampness.

“I’m actually sleeping in the living room with my four-month-old in her next-to-me bed. But her mattress is damp. I’ve had to bin my couch because it was wet.

“You’d run your hand down the back of it and it was wet. I’ve had to bin the kids’ mattresses because they were all mouldy. I’ve been told to open the windows and not to put things against the walls.”

Her comments came on the same day that an inquest concluded a two-year-old boy died “as a result of a severe respiratory condition caused due to prolonged exposure to mould in his home environment.”

Awaab Ishak lived in a one-bedroom flat in Rochdale, Greater Manchester with his parents, who had previously complained to their housing association about the mould.

Laura has similarly raised the issue of damp to her council, but feels they are not resolving the root of the issue.

She said: “Repair work has been carried out over the last six years but it just keeps coming back. They just cover it up with paint which is fine until it comes back.

“My daughter’s always complaining of not feeling well. My wee one’s health visitor is writing a letter because she’s seen it first hand. I just can’t have the kids sleeping in this. It’s affecting all our health and I already suffer from depression and anxiety.”

Laura, who lives with Kayden, Mia, 10, and four-month-old River-Amari, added: “I got an email from the council last week telling me they’d been trying to contact me and that someone was coming out but no one arrived.

“I called them up to rearrange it and they came on Friday after I’d already cleaned. This house is making my kids ill, and I can no longer keep putting their health and life at risk with asthma attacks and dampness into their lungs.

“I’ve done everything I can to try and stop the dampness but it’s in the walls no matter how much you paint, wipe or clean.

“I was meant to get another house when my boy turned nine because of North Lanarkshire Council rules that opposite sex can’t share a room. He’s now 12 and my wee girl is 10.

“They’re still sharing a bedroom because the other room is unliveable – the walls are black.”

North Lanarkshire Council said it is treating the case “as a priority”.

A spokesperson for the authority said: “We are working with Miss Nicholson to resolve concerns which have been raised about condensation dampness in her property and are treating this as a priority.

“We managed to visit the property today (10 November) after several attempts were made to gain access over the last few months. No mould was found in the property during our visit; however, we will work on areas which Miss Nicholson identified.

“We will carry out work to reseal and remove staining from windows. We are also providing practical advice and support to help properly heat and ventilate the property.

“Our housing allocations team will be in touch with Miss Nicholson, when a suitable property meeting her housing requirements and areas which she has identified becomes available.”