‘I’m just terrified she’s going to die’: Mother, 31, fears for her three-year-old daughter after finding wall behind her bed ‘caked in mould’
- Terri Harrigan, 31, of Hackney, London, is ‘terrified’ daughter Ariella, 3, will die
- She claims Hackney Council only ‘painted over’ mould despite doctor’s warning
A mother has been left ‘terrified’ her three-year-old might die after claiming a council hasn’t done anything about mould covering her daughter’s mattress and the rest of her home.
Terri Harrigan, 31, of Hackney, London, said her daughter Ariella has been ‘sick most of her life’ and is ‘terrified’ she might die suddenly because of mould covering her mattress.
She claimed doctors have told Hackney Council the mould is causing Ariella’s breathing problems but all the authority has done is ‘paint over’ the walls.
Miss Harrigan first found the mould after peeling back her wallpaper shortly after moving into her council home in December 2019.
Since then, she explained it has spread to her daughter’s mattress, walls in her living room, kitchen, bedrooms, toilet, windows and ceilings, as well as clothes.
Terri Harrigan (pictured, left), 31, of Hackney, London, said her daughter Ariella has been ‘sick most of her life’ and is ‘terrified’ she might die suddenly because of mould covering her mattress
Since then, she explained it has spread to her daughter’s mattress, walls in her living room, kitchen, bedrooms, toilet, windows and ceilings, as well as clothes
She added:’ Ariella’s mattress is covered in mould. I’m just terrified she’s going to die.
‘She gets sick at least every two to three weeks now. She really struggles with her breathing and doctors have even written a letter to the council to say the mould is causing her health issues.’
‘All I want is for her to be healthy and happy. My main concern as a new mum shouldn’t be that my three-year-old is going to die suddenly.’
Miss Harrigan claimed that she has tried to wash the mould away two to three times a week it keeps growing back.
But despite her efforts, Miss Harrigan said all the council has done is ‘paint over’ the mould three times since September 2020.
The death of two-year-old Awaab Ishak in Manchester last year after he was exposed to black mould has left her scared the same thing will happen to Ariella.
She said: ‘I’m just constantly anxious about my children. Don’t get me wrong, they’re all very happy – but I need them to be healthy as well.
‘We don’t have any money to move house. We don’t even have enough to get a new bed.’
Miss Harrigan claimed that despite her best efforts to wash the mould away two to three times a week it keeps growing back
But despite her efforts, Miss Harrigan said all the council has done is ‘paint over’ the mould three times since September 2020
Her daughter’s health deteriorated in September 2022 when an ambulance was called because of breathing difficulties.
She said: ‘Her breathing became really rapid. It just wasn’t slowing down. I called 111 and they sent an ambulance out to us straight away.
‘She was only two years old at the time and I was worried we were about to lose her.
‘Doctors sent a letter to the Mayor of Hackney but he just said he’d let us know when other social housing became available. Seven months later and we’re still waiting.’
A letter from her GP asked if the mould issues could be addressed to ‘ensure safe living conditions’.
A Hackney Council spokesman said: ‘We wholeheartedly apologise for the delay to repairs that Ms Harrigan has experienced following our survey on November 2022.
‘The Council carried out repair work relating to recurring damp in 2019, 2020, and again in January 2022.’
Her daughter’s health deteriorated in September 2022 when an ambulance was called because of breathing difficulties
The spokesman added: ‘The most recent issue in November 2022 was surveyed but this work was delayed as a result of problems with the supply chain and a breakdown of communication at our end.
‘We have now made contact with Ms Harrigan to begin work to resolve all the issues at her earliest convenience.
‘As part of this, we will look at stronger measures to prevent future recurrence.
‘Hackney Council is one of the largest social landlords in the country, and we want to assure everyone living in one of our homes that tackling damp and mould is a priority for us.
‘We launched a housing repairs action plan backed by an extra £1millon investment last year.
‘This includes inspecting all reports of damp and mould within five working days; reassessing all outstanding damp and mould complaints and ensuring they are prioritised based on the severity of the case, and the age and health of the people living in the home.’
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