Boy, 2, died after being forced to live in damp, mouldy flat

Pictured: Boy with breathing difficulties who died weeks after his second birthday after family were forced to live in damp, mouldy flat

  • Awaab Ishak was admitted to Royal Oldham Hospital with breathing difficulties
  • He died on December 21, 2020, just weeks after celebrating his second birthday
  • The inquest into his death began at Rochdale Coroners’ Court on Friday morning 

A toddler who died after being forced to live in a damp and mouldy flat in Rochdale was pictured for the first time on Friday as the inquest into his untimely death got underway. 

Awaab Ishak was just two when he was admitted to Royal Oldham Hospital with breathing difficulties and died on December 21, 2020.

His tragic passing came just weeks after he was photographed blowing out candles on a cake at his second birthday party. 

Other photos obtained by Manchester Evening News show the young boy beaming as he played outside in the fresh air – a likely reprieve from the living conditions at home. 

It comes after a post-mortem report found a medical link between Awaab’s death and the damp and mould that blighted his family’s flat in the Ilminster block on the Freehold estate.

His father Faisal Abdullah had repeatedly complained to Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH), which owned and managed the site, a coroner’s court previously heard. 

Tragic Awaab Ishak (pictured) was admitted to Royal Oldham Hospital with breathing difficulties and died on December 21, 2020

His tragic passing came just weeks after he was photographed blowing out candles at his second birthday party.

Awaab’s father Faisal Abdullah had repeatedly complained to Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH), which owned and managed their flat in the Ilminster block (pictured) on the Freehold estate, a coroner’s court previously heard

They had asked to be found a new property, and lodged complaints about the mould before Awaab was even born, the court was told. 

Awaab’s family view the inquest, which began at Rochdale Coroners’ Court today, as a chance to find answers.

Speaking ahead of the inquest, his father Mr Abdullah said: ‘We have a number of questions that we hope the inquest process will provide answers to.

‘We want to ensure that any lessons to be learned are acted upon and that no other family has to go through this.’

Other families living on Freehold have also complained of severe damp and mould issues, reports MEN. 

Much like Awaab’s family, they had tried and failed to move home, with some having letters from their GP urging them to leave.

A post-mortem later found a medical link between Awaab’s death and the damp and mould that blighted his family home

Some children had to be rushed to hospital with severe breathing issues – including four-month-old Gabriel, son of Vilma Lavres, who filmed the shocking moment he was struggling before attending hospital. 

And families battled the problem while senior managers at RBH enjoyed huge ‘fat cat’ pay rises in recent years, according to MEN. 

Awaab’s inquest is expected to last nine days.

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