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Tufnell Park mum and severely disabled daughter left ‘housebound’ for three years

PUBLISHED: 12:45 13 September 2018

Shereene McCready takes daughter Darcey Styles (3), who suffers from Dravet Syndrome down the stairs from their second floor flat on the Brecknock Road Estate. She is unable to use the lift because of her daughters condition, and also has to carry a suction machine, 1ltr portable oxygen and a stats monitor.

Shereene McCready takes daughter Darcey Styles (3), who suffers from Dravet Syndrome down the stairs from their second floor flat on the Brecknock Road Estate. She is unable to use the lift because of her daughters condition, and also has to carry a suction machine, 1ltr portable oxygen and a stats monitor.

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A mother and her severely disabled daughter have been left “housebound” for three years because it’s too dangerous for them to use the stairs in their Tufnell Park block.

Shereene McCready with daughter Darcey Styles (3), who suffers from Dravet Syndrome and mother Yvonne McCready. Picture: Polly HancockShereene McCready with daughter Darcey Styles (3), who suffers from Dravet Syndrome and mother Yvonne McCready. Picture: Polly Hancock

Sheerena McCready, 28, and Darcey live in a second-floor flat at Graham House, in Brecknock Road.

But the single mum say’s she’s been trying to relocate to a ground floor property with access to a garden since her daughter was diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome when she was seven months old.

Life is very tough for her,” said Sheerena. “And I don’t know how long I have left with my daughter.

“As a mother I’m at breaking point. I cry every day and don’t get the support I need. It’s so hard and there should be a system in place to help my daughter quicker.”

Shereene McCready takes daughter Darcey Styles (3), who suffers from Dravet Syndrome down the stairs from their second floor flat on the Brecknock Road Estate. She is unable to use the lift because of her daughters condition, and also has to carry a suction machine, 1ltr portable oxygen and a stats monitor. Picture: Polly HancockShereene McCready takes daughter Darcey Styles (3), who suffers from Dravet Syndrome down the stairs from their second floor flat on the Brecknock Road Estate. She is unable to use the lift because of her daughters condition, and also has to carry a suction machine, 1ltr portable oxygen and a stats monitor. Picture: Polly Hancock

Darcey has multiple health needs, including her severe form of epilepsy, which means she has multiple life threatening seizures every day.

This makes descending the stairs very dangerous, as Sheerena needs to carry Darcey, as well as her specialist oxygen tank, which she must have with her at all times.

There is a lift, but doctors have advised them not to use it in case it gets stuck while Darcey is having a seizure.

Sheerena says the council will be accountable if an accident happens.

She said: “It’s cruel. They keep telling me someone in a wheelchair is higher priority than Darcey.

“But Dravet is one of the worst mutations you can have – she may never be able to go to school and needs access to outside space.”

The council is trying to help them move into a two bedroom ground floor flat, but Sheerena says she has bid for seven properties over the past year without getting a viewing.

In January a senior occupational therapist from Islington Council, submitted a rehousing report saying: “Mother and child effectively house bound in current property unless family member or neighbour present to assist on stairs”.

Islington’s housing chief Cllr Diarmaid Ward said: “We will continue to work with Ms McCready to find the best possible accommodation for her and her family.

“London and Islington are in the grip of a massive housing crisis. Demand for social housing hugely exceeds demand and this means all residents, even those who are living in unsuitable accommodation, can experience significant delays in moving. We know this is extremely difficult and frustrating, especially for people who are in the greatest need.”

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