A MUM will march through Barry to draw attention to her family’s need for an adapted house to cater for her four-year-old son’s medical needs.
26-year-old Ruby Nash has vowed to stand up for son Cody Froud, who was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy in April 2013, and other disabled children who need homes able to cater for their conditions.
Gladstone primary school pupil Cody faces becoming wheelchair bound in a few years time as his genetic condition progressively makes his muscles weaken.
And the spirited animal-mad youngster, who has already shown difficulty standing, climbing and running and undergoes regular physiotherapy, faces possible steroid treatment as the condition worsens.
At present as research continues, life expectancy is around 27 years of age.
Ruby, also mum to Chloe, three, said she has been told her home in St Catherine’s Court, Gibbonsdown, Barry, is unsuitable for Cody’s needs and the family needs a house built that is a safe and secure environment for Cody.
She said there was currently some confusion over whether it was the Vale Council’s responsibility to do the adaptations to new builds or whether the onus was on the developer.
Ruby said: “We originally thought Cody had dyspraxia because of his clumsiness and falling.
“I knew there was something wrong, but the health visitor believed I was a paranoid mum.
“We are gold priority on the Homes 4U list, but there’s not a single house I can bid on to cater for Cody’s needs when he loses the ability to walk when he’s going to need hoists to help him in the bath and a wheelchair. “
She said Gladstone primary school had been amazing with Cody and another pupil who has the same condition – recognising their mobility needs and enabling them both to go through physiotherapy together.
She added: “Cody loves anything to do with animals and he’s a general little boy, getting into mischief, climbing up things and frightening the life out of me. He’s a cheeky little munchkin and Chloe has been amazing also.
“I have organised a march through Barry town on July 1 to help the Welsh Government become aware of this huge problem, as it currently affecting many families all across the Vale and wider areas.”
Vale Council leader, Cllr Neil Moore said that wherever possible the authority did everything it could to enable tenants with disabilities to stay in their own home and in the past five years had spent more than £2.6 million in adapting existing housing stock and was committed to spending a further £445,000 in the current financial year.
He said: “This is in addition to the works being carried out as part of the WHQS project where major and minor adaptations are also being carried out to enable tenants who have a disability to remain in their home.
“Council controlled housing stock in the Vale consists mostly of post-war properties that were built to a different specification and size standard than is common today. This makes complex or large scale adaptations, such as a through floor lift, impossible in the vast majority of our properties. In these cases the only option is to house tenants in purpose built properties within new developments.
“In the last four years the Vale of Glamorgan Council has allocated 134 new properties to tenants needing more suitable housing. We have also purpose built seven properties on new developments. Each individually tailored to meet a tenant’s complex needs.
“This approach allows us to deliver exactly what our tenants need.
“The number of properties that can be built is greatly limited by the small number of new developments in the Vale. However, with the advent of a new Local Development Plan (LDP) this may help to alleviate the shortfall.
“Custom building homes is a lengthy process. We work very hard to accommodate families as best as possible in the interim and do everything possible to expedite the process.
“Ultimately it is the only way that we can provide those in great need with a suitable lifetime home.”
Vale MP, Alun Cairns said: “Miss Nash contacted my office recently for assistance. I was saddened to hear of her situation and the needs of her son. I am told that the current waiting list for adapted housing is three years which is wholly unacceptable. I have taken up the matter with the Local Authority on behalf of Mrs Nash to try and get some movement. As yet I have not had a response.
“This is a worrying trend. I am determined to press for changes.”
To support the July 1 event, which begins at King Square, at 10am, visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/1417675498519976/?source=1
For details on Duchenne muscular dystrophy, log onto www.actionduchenne.org