26 Sep 2018

Baby living in 'swamp house' still in intensive care

8:04 am on 26 September 2018

A tenant whose landlord was forced to fix an ankle-deep swamp under their Auckland rental says her baby is still getting sick.

Atamarie has been admitted to the intensive care unit with bronchiolitis for the third time this winter.

Atamarie has been admitted to the intensive care unit with bronchiolitis for the third time this winter. Photo: Supplied

Papakura mother Dawn Robbie's daughter Atamarie has already been sick twice this winter with the breathing illness bronchiolitis.

The eleven-month-old baby was admitted to Middlemore Hospital's intensive care unit a third time at the weekend.

"I found her at 11.40pm not alert and we were quite worried so we called an ambulance ... she had to fight to breathe because of the mucus from her nose," Ms Robbie said.

A medical letter shows it's the third time the child has been hospitalised for the breathing illness this winter and Ms Robbie said she believes it's because of her Papakura rental.

Ms Robbie's rental home was labelled an "absolute disgrace" by Housing Minister Phil Twyford last month.

It was deemed unsanitary by the Auckland Council, who gave the landlord 10 days to resolve the property's issues which included non-compliant stormwater pipes, poor drainage and mould.

The medical letter about Atamarie's third hospital admission for bronchiolitis states damp, cold living conditions increase the likelihood and severity of breathing problems in infants.

Ms Robbie was served a 90 day notice, which was later lifted, after the rental conditions were exposed in the media. She said she's juggling rental viewings with hospital visits to get her family into a new home.

"I'm running around while my daughter's still in hospital with my three year-old who is going to kindy 9 till 3 everyday so I don't interrupt her lifestyle because she doesn't deserve it. We're trying to do what we've got to do to get out."

She said she has already been denied one rental property the family applied for, but had hopes another application for a Papakura property would be successful.

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