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Vittoria Gallagher @Vitt2tsnoc
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THREAD. VERY IMPORTANT THREAD.
We have a friend. Let’s call her Mary. Mary has 3 sons. She’s lived in Brussels most her life. She’s originally from Wales. She’s 84.
Mary’s husband has died. She lives alone with her young at son, let’s call him Nigel. He has lived with his mum until he was 46 in Brussels. Her other sons live abroad.
15 years ago, Mary, in agreement with all 3 sons agreed to sign her house over to Nigel, under the provision h would look after her in her old age. All sons agreed this is fair.
Mary is witty and funny and kind and sharp. She used to be an excellent singer. She’s kind hearted and her whole world is her sons and her dog.
Before Christmas, Mary had a fall. She was admitted to hospital.
Nigel had recently got a new girlfriend. He wants children with her. And he no longer wants to look after Mary.
While Mary was in hospital, Nigel changed the locks and evicted her. Because she signed over the house, legally he owns it.
Mary was obviously distraught. My Dad was visiting her in the hospital, Christmas was extremely miserable for her. Her sons did not come to Brussels to see her.
In January, the hospital released her, but she has nowhere to go. She went into a care home at a cost of £70 a day. She has 7000 euros so can afford to stay in it for a few months max.
My Dad has taken over trying to sort this and help out. He has tried negotiating with Nigel who is uninterested.
Mary was put in room, with Alzheimer’s patients, and one TV with no English channels. She slowly started becoming less sharp, clearly institutionalised.
In the meantime my Dad sorted a lawyer and we started looking at Mary’s rights. Nigel can’t just throw her out. So it looked like there might be an end, but then we found out Nigel sold the house. And has kept the money.
So now she really has nowhere to go. Dad got her out the home and she is staying with a kind lady, Pat and her son. Thankfully, Mary’s mind returned to usual out the home. But. I visited today and I am shook.
The flat is filthy. It’s untidy and dirty and smells of nothing but cigarette smoke, both stale and new. They have a rat. Ashtrays litter everywhere.
Mary is on the sofa, frail and over the moon to see us. She’s in bright pink, the only bright thing in the room. Don’t get me wrong, Pat is amazing to take her in but it’s not a healthy environment - especially as Mary has has pneumonia many a time.
Mary is on the sofa, frail and over the moon to see us. She’s in bright pink, the only bright thing in the room. Don’t get me wrong, Pat is amazing to take her in but it’s not a healthy environment - especially as Mary has has pneumonia many a time.
We went to Ikea for meatballs. She was delighted to be out. She was upset that I’m leaving Brussels tomorrow. She called our trip to IKEA her highlight of the week.
My mum and dad would take her in, but live in tall townhouses with long staircases - no good for the bathroom.
She can’t go back to the home because she will die in there. She’s alone. Her 2 other sons are doing Not Fucking Much.
Mary is at Pats currently. Without her dog, surrounded in filth and smoke, alone with no family, no belongings, her son hadn’t even brought her a coat round.
I am heartbroken. Denise and I both cried today when we saw her situation. Nigel is long gone, lawyers are taking AGES to sort all this and we need an interim solution.
So I’m HOPING AND PRAYING that social media can do a good thing. Does anybody know anyone IN BRUSSELS who has a small ground floor flat, that’s empty, that she could make use of for a little while.
Or does anyone have room to take her in? Does anyone have ANY ideas because we’re all out and I can’t let her stay there. It’s not right.
I don’t know exactly what I’m asking but anyone in #Brussels can you help? This really isn’t how an 84 year old who’s brought up 3 sons should be treated.
My Dad met Mary because he did some work with her. Mary’s handyman is doing more for her than her 3 own sons. So I’m just HOPING someone can help us out here!
And if not can you please share, share, share and let’s get Mary a little bit of dignity. Sofa surfing and living with a rat isn’t dignified and Mary deserves dignity. She really is a thoroughly wonderful lady.
Please share with anyone you may know in Brussels and contact me with ANY suggestions, none is too stupid. PLEASE PLEASE SHARE SHARE SHARE. #brussels #brussels #belgium @ageuklondon @unwomenEU @USAandEurope @BrusselsGeek @FMR_Brussels
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