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Seriously-ill boy left in hospital after repairs to council house

By Liam Keen | Bilston | News | Published:

A seriously-ill boy was left stuck in hospital as repairs had to be carried out on his home before doctors would allow him to return.

Lee Stokes has severe epilepsy and suffers from 50 seizures a day without his medication.

He had a stroke aged two, is fed with a tube and needs an oxygen tank to survive.

Doctors told the family that the youngster wouldn't live past infancy, but he has since defied the odds and is still fighting today at seven-years-old.

Bilston-born Lee was taken into New Cross Hospital with respiratory problems, but his family said doctors wouldn't let him return to his council-rented home in Newman Place, Bilston.

An extension was built on the home four years ago to accommodate Lee and his special bed that keeps him upright, his oxygen tank, and hoist that helps him move from his bed to his wheelchair.

In 2017, two years after the extension was built, the family say they found water dripping from the ceiling, condensation on the windows and mould on the walls.

Lee's grandmother Jane Challoner said: "They did fix the hole, but Lee had to live in the front room during this, and we've had nothing but problems since."

The youngster, and his mother Michelle McDonnell, have since been relocated to Bradley with Michelle's parents, while they wait for further work to be done to their Bilston home.

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The family still have worries about condensation, which they say makes Lee's condition worse.

Jane added: "He was discharged by doctors but the doctors wouldn't let him leave because the house isn't suitable - he was only allowed to leave this Tuesday.

"We had to fight to get them to release him to the home in Bradley, the nurses even visited the house to check it was suitable.

"It's been four years of hell, we're banging our heads against a brick wall."

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Wolverhampton Homes, which manages homes owned by Wolverhampton Council, has confirmed it is working with the family to rectify the issues.

Shaun Aldis, chief executive of Wolverhampton Homes said: “We are aware of the issues being experienced by the family and appreciate that this is an extremely difficult time for them.

"We have been in close talks with them over the past several days and are supporting them through the situation.

"In 2017, we were made aware of some roofing and drainage issues and employed specialist contractors to remedy the problems.

"Up until Monday April 8 2019, no further problems had been reported to Wolverhampton Homes in relation to the roof or the drainage.

"However, since being made aware last week of an ongoing issue, we have addressed this matter with our drainage contractor who is now scheduled to complete additional work this week.

"We will remain in regular contact with the family over the course of the work to ensure that the work is undertaken to a satisfactory standard.

"We are sorry for the inconvenience of the additional work and thank the family for bringing the matter to our attention this week.”

Officials at New Cross Hospital declined to comment due to patient confidentiality.

Liam Keen

By Liam Keen
Sports Reporter - @LiamKeen_Star

Sports journalist at the Express & Star, primarily covering Walsall FC and grassroots sport across the Black Country and Staffordshire. Got a story? Get in touch on 01902 319456.

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