A mum claims she lost her unborn child after one of her legs went through a faulty staircase she had reported as damaged causing her to fall.
Katie West, 28, suffered an ectopic pregnancy – where the embryo grows outside the womb – hours after one of her legs went through a rotten wooden step at her home.
She needed surgery to terminate the four-week pregnancy and was told it’s likely she will face further difficulties if she conceives again.
Katie and her partner Daniel Haylock have blamed the housing association they rent the property from for the loss of their fourth child after they failed to carry out vital work.
She said: “The doctors told us I lost the baby as a result of the fall. I hold this company responsible for me losing my my unborn baby.
“There’s nothing they could do to make it better now but I fear for the lives of my other children as those stairs are not safe.
“I was in a serious condition. It was scary and it was a devastating time. I was put in an induced coma for about six to 12 hours.
“The injury was like a c-section. It was a very bad situation. and may mean I can never have children again.
“We have three girls and were desperate for a son. That may never happen because this company couldn’t be bothered to do their job properly.”
The couple, from Ardeley, Herts., claim they have had several issues with the house since they moved in in September 2013.
Some problems, such as a banister for the stairs, they say have still have not been resolved.
However, they believe the stairs have continued to crumble over time due to a build-up of woodworm.
They insist the tragedy wouldn’t have happened if housing association Circle Housing had taken action straight away.
They also fear their other children could still be hurt due to unsecure fixings, which include blocks of wood holding up the steps and sharp screws sticking out from the woodwork.
Katie, who is mum to Caprice, six, Lacey, five, and Evelyn, four, said: “Their job is to house people and keep them safe.
“They have no interest in my family, all they care about is saving money. This could have been sorted years ago but they’re not interested.
“We used to joke that someone could fall down those stairs as they you could feel they were sinking beneath you, but we never though they would let it get that bad.
“The work they have carried out to fix it is just a botched job, I don’t feel it’s safe and I worry that my children could be hurt in their own home.”
Katie fell on December 9 of last year, when the stairs gave way beneath her as she got up ahead of the rest of her family to start to get her children ready for school.
As she ran down the stairs, her right foot plummeted through the step forcing her to tumble down the ground floor below.
She felt dizzy immediately afterwards but passed out hours later as pain from her stomach grew gradually more intense.
Daniel, 33, said: “We thought she was having a seizure.
“They got her in an ambulance and when they got to Lister Hospital they had a bed ready for her at the other end.
“It was touch and go for a while. If she had had a blood transfusion a few minutes later she wouldn’t be with us today.
“There are just words that can really describe how we feel about this. If the stairs had been fixed when we first reported it, this would not have happened.”
Doctors at Lister Hospital carried out emergency surgery to remove Katie’s right fallopian tube, which caused her to lose more than 2.5 litres of blood.
The couple were told that the impact of the fall caused the foetus to be forced back up the fallopian tube, causing the pregnancy to become ectopic.
Medics said that if Katie hadn’t been taken to hospital when she was, the fall could have proved fatal.
A Circle Housing spokeswoman said: “We are very sorry to hear about this incident and take the health and safety of our tenants extremely seriously.
“There are no outstanding repairs on the property.”