A wheelchair-bound showjumper has told of his anguish at being stuck in his 12th floor flat with only a commode to help him move around.
Craig Rimell is desperate to be moved from his high-rise tower block in Solihull. The 44-year-old McDonald’s worker, in agony because of a prolapsed disc in his back, said he had not been able to have a bath for nine months because of his mobility problems.
Mr Rimell, who currently lives in a flat in Forth Drive, Kingshurst, is at loggerheads with Solihull Council over its offer of a one-bedroom, ground floor flat.
He said he needed 24-hour care and wanted a two-bedroom property so his carer, friend James Layton could live with him.
“Solihull Council has caused me nine months of embarrassment,” he said.
“I have to be dragged around my flat on a toilet because my wheelchair does not fit through the door.
“I haven’t been able to bathe for nine months.
“I’m a clean man, I work for McDonald’s.
“I have been using a basin to wash myself every day for the past eight or nine months.
“James helps out with my care. I am bed-bound and I need 24-hour care.
“I am saving Solihull Council money by having my own carer but they are still not prepared to help me.”
Mr Rimell said his back problems were caused by wear and tear linked to his showjumping, which he took up as a 12-year-old.
He is now awaiting an operation.
“My spinal chord is bent, which means when I try to stand up, I fall over,” he said. “I am on 33 tablets a day, mostly to treat the pain. If I have to go to hospital, I need to be carried out on a stretcher.
“But the stretcher does not fit in the lift, let alone the flat. By the time I get down to the ambulance, I am in agony.”
A Solihull Council spokesman said: “Solihull Community Housing (SCH) advised Mr Rimell in writing of the outcome of the review of his housing application and this confirmed he has been awarded urgent medical priority to enable a transfer from his current home.
“The communication also advised SCH would like to suggest a one-bedroom bungalow or ground floor flat with a range of adaptations installed.
“They include: a walk-in shower and access externally and within the property to ensure he can move around with the use of a wheelchair; other aids and a kitchen with adjustments made to the height of the worktops he can use from a wheelchair if required.
“SCH requested to meet with Mr Rimell to discuss this in more detail.
“The review concluded there is a need for Mr Rimell to receive support and care in order to achieve his daily activities but did not uphold his request for a property to be two bedrooms in order for his carer to live with him.”