Disabled mum ‘trapped in house’ after fall

Mary Herd. Picture: Fife Photo Agency
Mary Herd. Picture: Fife Photo Agency

A disabled mum-of-two who has been waiting for several years for a house without stairs says her condition has worsened after falling down the steps of her first-floor flat.

Mary Herd, of Orkney Place in Kirkcaldy, needs a wheelchair to get about, and, after taking a tumble down the stairs in her flat, she now finds herself severely restricted in her own home.

With stairs providing the only way in or out of the property, and another set of step inside leading to the bathroom, Mary is now very limited.

She said: “The stairs are killing me. I feel like I’m locked in the house 24/7. I’m now living in the livingroom. I’ve got a single electric bed. My daughter’s put a commode in a cupboard as I can’t get up the stairs to the toilet.

“I was at the top of the stairs and I got shooting pains that just took me off my feet.

“I can’t seem to move my left shoulder, if I move my arm away from my body it’s like there’s a pulling feeling.

“I can’t do anything with the kids any more. It’s them I feel sorry for, they have to put up with it too.

“I used to try and get out to do the school run as often as possible, but that’s even harder now.

“My daughter and daughter-in-law are now dropping off and picking up the kids.

“I just want a house without stairs, where I can get out in the wheelchair.

“I’ve been in touch with our local MSP, David Torrance, who has asked the chief executive of Fife Council about the case. It’s now been over 28 days and he hasn’t replied.

“What do you do next? I’ve waited a whole year. What are they waiting for? For the stairs to kill me? I can’t just sit in the house.”

John Mills, head of housing at Fife Council, said: “Housing management is currently reviewing Mrs Herd’s housing application, and is seeking to increase her level of points for a transfer to a more suitable home.

“Unfortunately, there is a severe shortage of three bedroom appropriate housing to suit Mrs Herd’s needs. There are several families and individuals who are waiting on the same type of housing to become available in Kirkcaldy. We are arranging for a further home visit to Mrs Herd to discuss her housing options directly with her.”