Colliers Wood mother who had tapeworm in her brain fights for flat move
A mother-of-four who suffered an aneurysm after a tapeworm burrowed inside her brain is fighting to be moved from her third floor council flat for fear of having an epileptic fit while alone with her children.
Suki-Jane Taylor, 42, contracted neurosysticerosis in 2009, a parasitic disease of the nervous system, after being infected by a tapeworm that found its way into her brain.
Once there, the parasite died causing an aneurysm the size of a tangerine leaving Miss Taylor requiring major surgery, a shunt in her skull and causing a loss of taste and smell, epilepsy and depression.
She said: “If it hadn’t been for my partner’s insistence that they keep me in at St George’s and I see a specialist and had an MRI scan they wouldn’t have found the aneurysm.
“They removed it straight away and when I was coming around he was talking to my partner and he said I was two weeks away from death.
“It was right at the top of my spine at the back of my brain.”
Miss Taylor, who has been on the housing list to move for the last 13 years, is currently housed in a two-bed third-floor flat in Kendall Court, Colliers Wood, with her partner, two-year-old son, 12 year-old-son who has Asperger’s syndrome, and 10-year-old daughter.
She regularly climbs the three flights of stairs carrying her two-year-old, despite neurologists warning her doing so could cause an epileptic seizure putting herself and her child in danger.
She said: “My balance has gone, my sense of smell and taste has gone and my eyesight has got worse.
“If I carry too much up and down the stairs I can have an epileptic fit.
“I can sometimes feel that I have taken the stairs when I haven’t.
“My consultant has said if I am moved to a property where I haven’t got any steps she could take me off of the epileptic tablets.
“I’m alive and I’m going to see my children grow up, but I have been left by Wandle Housing Association.”
In a letter to Wandle Housing Association, Miss Taylor’s consultant neurologist described her accommodation as “unacceptable”, calling for her to be moved as a “priority”.
Despite this, Wandle Housing Association listed Miss Taylor as a non-urgent medical case after an assessment in January 2011.
Miss Taylor hopes to return to south-east London where her extended family is based.
A Wandle Housing Association spokesman said it recognised the family had been “dealing with what is clearly a very stressful situation”.
He said: “Miss Taylor applied for a transfer due to medical reasons in January 2011.
“A medical assessment carried out resulted in her application being classed as a low medical priority at the time.
“However, Miss Taylor’s health has deteriorated over time and, as a result, Wandle has worked closely with Ms Taylor to make a number of changes that have ensured that she has highest priority for a transfer in her areas of choice.
“We are working hard to locate a suitable property for Miss Taylor and her family.
“She is the highest priority for a move and we are currently waiting for an appropriate three or four-bedroom house or ground floor flat to become available as a priority.”