Damp, mouldy house ‘made my daughter ill’

Rebecca Jestico and her children, Evie and Nicholas  are having trouble being re-housed from their house, which has a number of problems, including damp.
Rebecca Jestico and her children, Evie and Nicholas are having trouble being re-housed from their house, which has a number of problems, including damp.
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A mum is desperate to be moved from her ‘damp and mouldy’ council home after her six-year-old daughter spent Christmas in hospital with breathing problems.

Evie Jestico was taken to Dewsbury and District Hospital on Christmas Eve while gasping for air.

On Christmas Day, she stopped breathing and had to be put on a ventilator. She was then sedated and given IV treatment.

Evie is now stable but was diagnosed with severe asthma after being moved to a Sheffield hospital.

Mum Rebecca Jestico, 23, said damp and mould in a cupboard and toilet at her Kirklees-provided home in Birstall had previously made Evie and son Nicholas, one, full of cold and wheezy.

Rebecca said: “I cannot go back to this house. My kids have lost their home and most of all, we’ve lost our Christmas.

“We’ve been in the whole of Christmas – we haven’t left the hospital.”

The keys to the home in Priestley Square were handed over to the family in October.

Rebecca said Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing was due to carry out improvements but these had still not been made.

Plastering work was finally due to start on December 22 but Rebecca wanted to seek independent advice and cancelled, fearing her children would become more ill.

She believes the family should be re-housed and will now live full-time with her mum.

Rebecca added that Evie’s doctor had said the housing conditions may have contributed her time in hospital and staying elsewhere was for the best.

A Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing spokesman said: “We have offered to install wall insulation, which should have the effect of increasing the temperature on the external wall and reduce the likelihood of mould reoccurring.

“As this is confined to two areas, we would not consider moving Miss Jestico out of the property. If she contacts us with supporting medical evidence we will, of course, take this into consideration.

“In relation to the plastering work, this was to remove crumbling textured coating on stairs to identify if this was a damp or condensation issue.

“Miss Jestico has asked that this work does not go ahead until she has received further independent advice.”