Council says Sedgley woman not ill enough for help - despite chronic lung disease

A step too far - Sylvia Sullivan is stuck inside because Dudley Council have refused to let her have her front door modified

A step too far - Sylvia Sullivan is stuck inside because Dudley Council have refused to let her have her front door modified

First published in Local
Last updated

A SEDGLEY woman with chronic lung disease has been denied help from Dudley Council - because she is not ill enough.

Sylvia Sullivan has one of the worst cases of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) her nurse has ever seen but she says the authority has left her housebound after refusing permission for a modification to her council flat.

The 64-year-old former pub landlady applied to have her front step removed which would mean she could go out on her mobility scooter but the council says she is not disabled despite being on oxygen for 16-hours-a-day.

The modification would not even have cost the council any cash because Sylvia has a volunteer builder on standby to do the work at her Dudley Road home.

Sylvia said: “I can’t walk anywhere, there is nothing wrong with my legs but if you can’t breathe you are dead.

“They think I have panic attacks but I have to see a specialist at Russells Hall Hospital, my nurse said it was one of the worst cases of COPD she had seen.

“This is a nightmare, it would make a massive difference to my health if I could get out into the fresh air and the sunshine, it would give me a new lease of life.”

Sylvia, who has suffered from lung disease for ten years, applied for permission to have the step removed and was visited by a council occupational therapist for an assessment.

Last week she got a phone call from Dudley Council telling her the application was refused.

Currently if the divorced mother-of-three needs to go out her son has to carry her to a car because she is unable to walk a few steps across the footpath.

She said: “It’s disgusting, if it was their mum it would be a different story – I shall end up depressed.”

Dudley Council was unable to comment on the case before the News went to press.

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