Asthma boys fight with housing department

Top doc in desperate housing plea for Islington boy.

A TOP medical expert has refused to give a 10-year-old boy a new course of drugs to treat his life-threatening asthma until he is re-housed by Islington Council.

Professor Andrew Bush, one of the UK's leading child respiratory specialists, has written to the council on behalf of desperate single mum Keetha Allaway, 30, of the Highbury Quadrant Estate, in Catherall Road, Highbury.

Ms Allaway's sons Jadyn, five, Reon, 10 and Imani, 12, sleep in a bunk bed in the single room they share in the two-bedroom flat.

Reon and Jadyn both suffer from brittle asthma - a debilitating breathing problem that makes them acutely susceptible to common viruses and allergies.

The boys, pupils at St Mary Magdalene Academy, in Liverpool Road, Holloway, have suffered numerous emergency admissions to The Whittington Hospital, in Magdala Avenue, Archway, during their short lives.

Ms Allaway, a full-time mum, said: ""Their quality of life is appalling. They've both been off school since February because they pick up other children's infections really easily. They go to school, pick up a cold and they end up in a high dependency unit in the Whittington.

""They've just started back doing half days at the moment. But I'm getting calls every day from the school saying 'the boys are unwell, what can we do?'""

Doctors at the Royal Brompton Hospital, in Chelsea, where Jadyn and Reon get regular expert treatment, are hoping to start Reon on a course of Methotrexate – a hard-hitting anti-cancer drug which they hope will knock out the youngster’s over-active immune system.

Professor Bush - academic director of paediatrics at the National Heart and Lung Institute - has refused to prescribe the treatment unless Reon is sleeping in a room of his own to protect him from catching infections from his two brothers.

But Ms Allaway needs more than her 261 housing points to bid for a suitable three-bedroom home under the council's transfer scheme. She says the severity of Reon's illness should make him eligible for more than the 50 points out of a potential 100 he has been awarded on medical grounds.

""I just want to move and get my son the treatment he needs,"" said Ms Allaway. ""It's not that the properties aren't out there - we just don't have enough points to get them. People don't understand how serious asthma can be. One of the top consultants in the country has put it in writing.""

A spokesman for Homes for Islington said: ""We realise this is a difficult situation but all council properties are allocated according to family requirements. Unfortunately Ms Allaway is competing against a number of other people with similar needs.

""However, additional medical information has been submitted by Ms Allaway which has been passed to the housing medical officer for assessment. We are currently awaiting this result which hopefully will be available next week.

Link to article islingtongazette.co.uk/cont...

The family have set up a facebook page to help raise awareness of severe asthma and to highlight the lack of understanding the condition has. They are hoping to get a petition together to put forward to the council bosses in the hope they will overturn the medical officers decision.

facebook.com/#!/group.php?g...

3 Replies

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  • apparently the link doesn't work so have tried again.

    islingtongazette.co.uk/cont...

    For those who are interested the facebook group is called 'help reon move ... forward'

    When you copy and paste it it leaves a gap between the o and the n in islington, this needs to be deleted.

  • Thanks for this Koolcat, I will add my bit. The poor family, the mum must be desperate.

  • local authority housing groups can be like little hitlers at times. it isnt right that they havent got adequate housing to prevent hospitalisation or worse. hope they get sorted. it took approx 18moinths to rid 2 rooms in my home of huge mushrooms that were growing on the walls and floor-these were making me ill and i had to stop using the rooms altogether as even the home remedies were making me ill. finally sorted out when i complained to my local mp! would like to see them live with it...

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