Family's desperate plea to be moved before son's skull surgery
- Credit: Emma Flaherty
A mother fears her baby could die if housing bosses don't move her family from her "unsanitary" and "unsafe" home when he returns from life-saving surgery.
Emma Flaherty has been pleading with Notting Hill Genesis for more than three years to fix damp, mould and leaks in her one-bedroom flat in Lithos Road, Swiss Cottage, which she shares with her husband Akram Nsar, and three children under three.
Eight-month-old Ynus Nsar has been diagnosed with sagittal craniosynostosis and will have surgery on his skull at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOH) in the new year.
"My youngest son has been diagnosed with a head condition where the sectors in his skull have fused too early so he'll be having major skull surgery at GOH, so we really have to get out," said Emma.
"I am afraid that if we are not moved before his operation we will be bringing him back to an unsanitary and unsafe environment where he is at high risk of of infection in cramped and damp conditions which could be fatal."
Emma contacted the housing association to tell it of her baby's condition but it did not respond.
Following intervention from the Ham&High, NHG said it has placed the family in the "highest banding" to increase the chance of finding a new home.
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Emma said dozens of repair jobs are outstanding: "The walls are crumbling. We had problems with damp but in April when a contractor came to fix the pipes in the loft, his foot came through the ceiling and they spent the rest of the day fixing that and nothing went on from that.
"My husband's fallen down the stairs three times. They say it takes 12 weeks for a baby's head to support itself post surgery and the thought of carrying my son down the stairs is horrific. What if something was to happen?"
A Notting Hill Genesis spokesperson said: “We are aware that the family has been living in overcrowded conditions and this is resulting in condensation and mould.
“The only long-term solution is moving the family into a larger home more suitable to their needs."
They said the housing association will "work with them to find a three-bedroom home as quickly as possible".