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Family forced to carry disabled son up three flights of stairs to get home

The family of a young boy with a rare disability say they're being forced to carry him up flights of stairs to their flat because of a lack of suitable housing.

Tommy Mikkelson was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and will soon need a wheelchair - but his parents say that will mean their current flat in South Gloucestershire is inadequate.

Credit: ITV West Country

Tommy's mother Sharon Arkell has lived in the block of flats in Filton for 19 years but now she says she dreads coming home.

Tommy is 4 next month, can't climb stairs by himself and Sharon has no choice but to carry him up three flights.

Tommy was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy last year.

It's a progressive illness which means he'll soon have to use a wheelchair permenently. The life expectancy for someone with the condition is mid 20's.

Tommy was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy last year. Credit: ITV West Country

But Tommy's parents say a policy change by the local housing association means people with ill health are no longer given priority when it comes to re-housing.

It's just not acceptable in any way. To hide behind their policy change, I think neglects a duty of care to my family who have to climb those stairs every day.

If one of us was to fall with Tommy it really would be not very good at all.

– Rich Mikkelson, father

The family say they know there is a lack of housing in the area but are reluctant to move away from what they call their support network.

Father Rich told us "Everything that we have always known and reply on is in this area. Tommy's diagnosis is big enough to deal with but to have to deal with it away from your family and friends and support network and everything you have ever known is not much of a choice to be honest."

"We just want someone to say we know what's going on and we're looking out for you. I don't think that's too much to ask."

The family are reluctant to leave their family and friends Credit: ITV West Country

Council chiefs are due to look at Tommy's case on Friday. His parents are hoping a solution can be found before Tommy's condition deteriorates further.