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Twydall mum’s plea to move as son, 6, with life-threatening health condition stuck living in mouldy flat

A school has intervened over a boy with a life-threatening health condition and his family who are living in an overcrowded, mouldy council flat.

Mum-of-three Kayleigh Hunt, of Beechings Way, Twydall, says she is desperate to move for the sake of her six-year-old son Kian.

He has congenital adrenal hyperplasia, a condition which means things like stress, common colds, cuts and bruises can cause him to go into adrenal crisis.

This can cause him to start vomiting and even become unconscious, and without receiving immediate medical attention it can be fatal.

He has a RED card (Request Emergency Dispatch) with Medway Maritime Hospital, meaning he is immediately treated and is regularly admitted.

Kayleigh, 27, has to carry a medical kit containing life-saving injections with her at all times, and Kian has to take medication multiple times per day.

She said: “If he catches any colds, sickness, or bugs, it normally means he’s admitted to hospital because adrenal crisis can be fatal.”

Now his school, Featherby Infant School, has written to Medway Council raising concerns about Kian’s living conditions, saying they were affecting his wellbeing and education, and that it was “essential” for him to have access to “safe and stable accommodation”.

Kayleigh Hunt and her sons Kian and Layton
Kayleigh Hunt and her sons Kian and Layton

A school spokesman said: “Whilst we would not comment on any individual family’s circumstances, the health, safety and wellbeing of our pupils is our top priority, which is why we always work closely with our families and appropriate agencies to assist them in accessing any necessary support when helpful.”

A letter from Great Ormond Street Hospital also supported rehousing the family, saying placing Kian in a house with damp and mould leads to a risk of respiratory infection and emergency admission to hospital.

Kayleigh has faced a number of problems with the flat since moving in two years ago, including “thick black mould” which developed a week after her youngest son Kayson was born.

Her other two sons, Layton, three, and Kayson, six months, both require asthma pumps for chest problems which Kayleigh believes have been caused by the conditions in the flat.

The mould in Kayleigh Hunt's flat in Beechings Way, Twydall. Picture: Kayleigh Hunt
The mould in Kayleigh Hunt's flat in Beechings Way, Twydall. Picture: Kayleigh Hunt

She added: “The mould is okay now because it has been painted over by Medway Council so it’s not visible at the moment but it will appear again as the stuff they painted over it with is peeling off.

“It comes back in the winter and there is no space for wardrobes or cupboards in the flat, so the kids’ clothes get mouldy and I have to chuck their clothes out and get new ones.

“The lack of storage space also means I have to store everything in my room, so there’s not enough room for a cot for the baby.

“He has to sleep in my bed which is dangerous for him.”

Earlier this year, a floor tile lifted, causing one of the boys to trip and cut his head.

Kayleigh's flat is overcrowded and has no storage space
Kayleigh's flat is overcrowded and has no storage space

Kayleigh removed and disposed of some the tiles, only to be reprimanded by a council officer, who said they contained asbestos.

Kayleigh, who was shocked at the revelation, as the tiles were in every room of the flat, added: “We’ve been told as long as they don’t lift and stay untouched nothing will be done about the rest of the tiles so I’ve just had to put flooring over it but it’s scary knowing it’s putting my kids at risk.”

Despite applying for every housing option she can find, Kayleigh says her Band C status means she does not stand a chance of getting offered another flat.

She said: ”Kian gets disability but it’s not at a high enough rate for us to be bumped up from Band C.

Kayleigh with son Kayson
Kayleigh with son Kayson

“I can’t work because any time he gets ill at school, I get a phone call straight away and he gets taken straight to hospital.

“I also have no form of childcare for my two youngest who aren’t in full-time school yet.”

Kayleigh is worried about the development of her boys, adding there is no “playing space” in the cramped flat.

Kayleigh's flat is overcrowded and has no storage space
Kayleigh's flat is overcrowded and has no storage space

She said: “I’ve been told there should be no more than two kids per room but the flat only has two bedrooms. It’s so cramped, the kids always fight.

”Kian can’t have his friends over, or his cousins, and I hate saying no to him but we just don’t have space to accommodate them.

“The flat was originally one bedroom but they’ve put a fake wall up to make this two bedrooms.

“It’s so loose that if the kids bumped into it too hard while playing it feels like it would knock over.

Kayleigh's flat is overcrowded and has no storage space
Kayleigh's flat is overcrowded and has no storage space

“It’s really affecting Kian’s mental health, with us all being on top of each other. The stress is really bad for his condition.

“I’m just at a loss now with the council. I’m not asking for anything crazy, not a great big palace, just a place with enough rooms and space for my children.”

A Medway Council spokesperson said: “We understand how important it is for the health and wellbeing of our residents to have a home which is well-maintained.

“We arranged for maintenance work to be carried out to the property in response to the report raised by the resident, with the most recent repairs made in March.

“We are continuing to offer our support to the resident and have provided advice on potential housing options.”

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