Report by Tom Wright , Reporter
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
A TERMINALLY ill father is being ‘penalised’ by the council’s housing system, because he wants to live the final few months of his life with his teenage children, according to his wife.
Rachel and Desmond Pardy desperately need new accommodation but have been told they cannot get the bigger home recommended by doctors because of their children’s ages.
Desmond, aged 40, finds it almost impossible to walk, has an incurable brain tumour and suffers seizures. He has to sleep in a reclining chair in the living room because he cannot make it up the stairs.
The couple currently live in a two-bedroom council house in Cabot Way, Worle, but are desperate for a bungalow or house with a stairlift. Their current home cannot be fitted with a stairlift, as it is not big enough.
But the pair have been told they cannot get one because Desmond’s 17-year-old son Keanu Pardy and Rachel’s 16-year-old daughter Holly Harris are considered old enough to leave home.
Rachel, who gave up her job to care for her sick husband, said the ‘cruel’ system had let her family down.
She said: “All I want - considering it could be just three or six months – is for him to have the best quality of life for that time.
“His mobility is going to get worse and worse and we already have three carers come in to try to help him.
“We just want to spend as long as possible together.”
Desmond was first diagnosed with a brain tumour four years ago and had an operation to save his life in January 2009. It returned last year and he has since had radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
He has twice been admitted to a hospice this year and when he left six weeks ago, was told by staff he needed to live in a bungalow. Despite letters from staff and Desmond’s doctor to North Somerset Council, no properties have been forthcoming.
Rachel said she had applied for two new homes online, but was only considered the 25th and 48th most urgent case.
She said: “I can’t understand why they can’t find us places. This week they offered us a two-bedroom flat on the Bournville with steps, which we cannot have.
“There doesn’t seem any sympathy [from the council] and staff don’t explain anything to you.”
She was advised to look on the private market, but without a job and regular income, it has proved impossible.
Rachel said: “I’m so stressed and tired and I have got to deal with everything.
“Desmond’s main worry is he wants to see his kids. It’s sad that they want to be together, but can’t.”
Desmond’s other son, Harry, who attends Churchill Academy and Sixth Form, is also keen to spend as long as possible with his father, but Rachel said she may heartbreakingly have to say no unless the council’s stance changes. Keanu already sleeps on the sofa as it is.
The Mercury contacted North Somerset Council but no response had been offered by the time the Mercury went to press.