A MUM is unable to give her disabled son a BATH due to an “‘unsuitable council home” that’s leaving her in ‘limbo’.
Two of Georgie Steel's children, aged nine and 10, have been diagnosed with a cruel genetic muscle-wasting disease, but their Blackpool home's bathroom is on the second floor.
That's left her family in an impossible situation – and means that the mum is sometimes forced to bathe one of her boys while he is "sitting on the toilet".
She's slammed the local council for allegedly "leaving my children and chucking them to a side".
Steel, 29, and her partner Ashley have lived in the four-bedroom council house with their four kids for the past 18 months, writes Lancs Live.
Sons Henleigh, 10, and nine-year-old Harleigh both have muscular dystrophy, which requires 24-hour help.
But Henleigh's room is on the first floor – a treacherous distance from the bathroom on the upper level.
The lad can't support his own weight and needs complete support to walk, bathe, get in and out of bed, or while using the toilet.
They moved in during 2020 when Blackpool council apparently assured the mum the property could be adapted to cope with the boys' future needs.
But now, Steel is in 'limbo' as recent checks by the council have confirmed that's not actually the case.
The authority must approve costs for any improvements to the home.
Property manager, social housing organisation Great Places Housing Group, is in a similar state of 'limbo'.
It can't make improvements to cater for young Henleigh's needs to provide more equipment and space until it's been rubber-stamped by the council.
So the mum is struggling to cope.
I feel sorry for him and sometimes you just feel like crying to yourself.
She said: “Sometimes I even have to bathe him sitting him on the toilet and it’s getting to the stage where he’s getting embarrassed because he’s coming to 11.
“If for instance he’s had an accident, I’ve got to bathe him on the bed, I can’t take him anywhere in the house – I can’t run him a bath because he cannot get upstairs.
“I feel sorry for him and sometimes you just feel like crying to yourself and you can't let the child see you like that because he thinks something’s up as well.”
Muscular dystrophy has no cure, and is a genetic condition that leaves people severely disabled and in most cases confined to a wheelchair.
The genetic condition sees muscles in the body weaken and eventually waste away.
However, despite her elder son's disability, Steel really wants Henleigh to maintain his independence and privacy.
But with no suitable access to a bathroom in the home, she's been forced to resort to using public showers at sports centres to give Henleigh a wash.
The distraught mum admitted to feeling like a "failure" as she doesn't want to "take my child out of his comfort zone to take him to a sports centre to bath him".
Her partner added that they both "struggle" to help Henleigh when he's not in his electric wheelchair.
And it's getting more difficult to carry him upstairs to the bathroom, as the boy is getting older and now weighs close to eight stone.
Yet the couple has been advised to look out for alternative housing, as the council is claimed to have told them there is nothing suitable on the books.
Steel said she was fed up with "hitting brick walls" when dealing with council red tape, and is suffering "panic attacks looking for a place that I’m not going to be able to find".
Describing the authority's alleged lack of action "disgusting", she accused bureaucrats of "leaving my children and chucking them to a side".
Guy Cresswell, the housing group's customer services boss, said: “We have a good relationship with the family and are providing them with ongoing advice and guidance in relation to finding a suitable alternative that will fully meet their needs.
“The budget for major adaptations is held by the local authority, therefore the work could only be carried out if approved by the council.”
A Blackpool council spokesperson said: “The Steele family have lived in a Great Places property since 2020.
“During this time occupational therapy have assessed their home to see if can be adapted but unfortunately it may not possible.
“We understand that the family are looking to move and we have advised them how to apply for a transfer, that application will be prioritised based on an occupational therapist’s report.
“If they need any help with the application process we are more than happy to assist.
“We strongly advise that before signing a tenancy agreement on a new property they liaise with occupational therapy so that they can ensure that it is suitable for adaptions."
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