A COUNCIL tenant, who was ‘trapped’ in her third story flat by a debilitating knee condition, has finally found a new home... after suffering a stroke.
Mum-of-two Claire Pickering had pleaded with Solihull Community Housing, SCH, to rehouse her after undergoing surgery in October to repair a displaced knee cap and arthritis in both knees.
But the 41-year-old says she was forced to ignore her doctor’s advice and make the torturous journey up and down the stairs to her Kingshurst flat, after she refused SCH’s offer of a temporary flat with a lift because she was terrified of becoming stuck during a fire.
By November, the situation had led to a post-surgery rupture in her knee but the worst was yet to come as the excruciating pain and distress culminated in a stroke earlier this month.
“I’ve got two young children that rely on me for everything,” said Claire. “This could have killed me. I’m still in shock that it’s actually happened.
“I was very, very independent.
“Now I need help to go to the toilet. It has completely changed my way of life.
“The doctors put it down to stress and anxiety, not only from having to tackle the stairs everyday but from dealing with the council to try and find a new place to live.
“I had the full support of the consultant at the hospital. They wouldn’t release me back into the flat.
“It has literally forced their hand but it’s only a temporary situation.”
Since the stroke, Claire and her young children have been temporarily rehoused in a ground floor flat but are still waiting for a permanent home.
“It beggars belief that it’s taken a stroke to get this far,” she added.
A Solihull Council spokesperson said SCH was continuing to “work closely” with Claire to find a suitable, permanent alternative accommodation but it could take some time.
“We are very sorry to hear of Ms Pickering’s medical condition. Due to the current housing demand in Solihull and the limited availability of appropriate properties to meet both her family size and accessibility needs, this may take a period of time.”