Injured Scot forced to wear mask in own home amid fears of dangerous damp spores

A Silverton man has told how he has to wear a mask in his own home to avoid breathing in dangerous spores caused by damp.

Truck driver Tam Nicholson, 65, suffered crippling injuries and was left with PTSD after being crushed by a wagon whilst at work in 2018.

The horror incident left Tam with a deflated lung, a punctured lung, four broken ribs, a broken collarbone and a twisted spine.

Now he fears that his home is making his already poor health worse, as he hit out at West Dunbartonshire Council for a lack of action.

Tam believes the damp problem is making his poor health worse

Tam told the Lennox Herald: “At the beginning of this year I noticed the top of my ceiling in the living room was turning brown.

“Over the next week or two I watched a water trail running down the wall.

“I phoned up the council’s housing inspector and said I had water running down the wall. This was around March or April.

“It was just like a stream underneath my wallpaper.

“Since then it’s turned the area behind my television black with fur. There are black patches coming up all over my living room wall.

“Wallpaper has peeled off in the bathroom and in the hallway there are more black patches. I worry that the fungus is poisonous.

“My rib cage is still crushed and the doctor has told me that my lungs will never recover. I am breathing in these spores every single day of my life.

The truck driver has hit out at the council for a lack of action
The truck driver has hit out at the council for a lack of action

“I got in touch with a housing officer and told her I was sitting in my own house with a mask on, because I didn’t want to breathe in these spores.

“My settee, bedroom, everything is now rotten because of this dampness. I have to sit with all my windows open and my heating on just to see if I can live in it.”

Tam said that the only alternative accommodation he’s been offered has been in Milton, a move that would take him away from family living locally.

He continued: “This was my mother’s house, I don’t really want to leave – but now I feel like I’ve got to.

“Some of the walls are glistening. If you go into the hall and touch the wall then you can feel the walls are soaking. My health is just continuing to deteriorate.

“My lungs are gubbed because of the accident. I’m being tested for COPD at the moment and, because of the accident, I have PTSD which I’m on medication for.

The 65-year-old is undergoing tests for COPD
The 65-year-old is undergoing tests for COPD

“I work nightshift and now try and do as much as I can during the day so I’m not in the house.

“There doesn’t seem to be any urgency from the council. I’ve said I’ll go anywhere locally; Silverton, Dumbarton Harbour or Bellsmyre where my son lives.

“I just need something to be done.”

A spokesperson for West Dunbartonshire Council said: “We are sorry this tenant is unhappy.

“The repairs required in his home mean it is necessary for the tenant to temporarily relocate while they are undertaken.

“As our initial offer of alternative accommodation was declined, we are continuing to liaise with the tenant to identify a property which meets his specific needs.

“As soon as this has been identified, our teams will be able to progress the corrective works in his home.”

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