A 58-year-old woman has described how she has been a prisoner in her own home for the last nine years do to an illness which prevents her from going down her two flights of stairs. The woman, Rita Gatt, is a widow with four children who said that because of the stairs she has to depend on others to go out, until her request to change her government flat to a ground floor flat is acceded to.
Rita Gatt, who lives on a social housing estate in Santa Lucia, said that she has been virtually locked up in her home.
“I cannot go anywhere, I sometimes spend months not going anywhere, not even to go shopping. I just do not have enough strength to go downstairs.”
Rita said that her health problems began from serious issues she had in her legs due to thrombosis. Two years ago, Rita was also diagnosed with cancer.
With tears in her eyes, Rita said that she can only sleep using an oxygen tank, and the only time she leaves the house is when she is forced to do so for her hospital visits.
Rita became a widow 18 years ago when her husband died at the age of just 43. She said that she depends on her children who do her shopping and errands for her after they finish work, because she cannot do anything herself.
“All I want is a ground floor flat, that is my wish before I die.”
She said that nine years ago she applied with the Housing Authority to exchange her flat with a ground floor flat. She said that she often feel she is just existing with the long hours she spends in the same room, laying on the bed, but she hopes that she will finally find someone who will listen to her prayers.