Hospital: Conditions too bad for boy to go home

Posted at 7:17 PM, Sep 14, 2015

CINCINNATI -- Ogalidia Guzman is already struggling to cope with her son's cancer diagnosis. Her 3-year-old, Nathaniel, began treatment for neuroblastoma, a form of cancer typically found in children, about six months ago at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

But now, Children's officials won't let Nathaniel return home to their West End apartment because of the apartment's conditions.

"It hurts me a lot," Guzman said, who agreed that the environment would make her son worse. "Everything that you breathe in here is infected."

The mother of two said that water damage started showing up in the apartment about two years ago. Then came mold infestation and roaches. She said dirty water floods the apartment two or three times each week.

You can see the apartment's conditions -- broken tile, cracked walls and floors, bugs and more -- in the video story above.

Now, Guzman said her 4-month-old daughter is getting sick from the mold.

"I already had to take her to the emergency room twice with a breathing infection," she said. "We just don't know who to go to or where to go or who to talk to. Everyone I've tried just doesn't know or says they can't help."

The Gateway Plaza Apartments on East Ninth Street -- where Guzman and her children live -- has been ordered to fix the mold problem, which goes beyond Guzman's apartment. And on Monday, Cincinnati Board of Health sent an investigator over to the complex.

The person working in the complex's front office denied WCPO's request for an interview or comment on the conditions of the apartment.

WCPO - 9 On Your Side will continue to follow this story to see what can be done to help Guzman, her children and any other tenants who may be affected by the apartment's conditions.

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