A fed-up amputee who has to crawl up and down “filthy” concrete stairs every time she leaves her flat is left feeling “worthless” and like she has “no dignity left”.

Tracey Whiteside, 47, had her left leg amputated below the knee in August 2020 due to suffering lifelong pain.

Renfrewshire Council were advised of the planned surgery beforehand and despite Tracey being on the housing list to be relocated since November 2019, she is still waiting more than four years later.

Glasgow Times: This is despite several pleas from herself and health officials who have submitted letters to the local authority highlighting that the first-floor flat in Cowal Drive, Linwood, is not suitable.

Tracey, who feels trapped inside, enjoyed long walks before the life-changing surgery.

She has lived in the home with her husband, who also suffers from serious health conditions, and her teenage daughter since November 2017.

“I love this flat, I really do,” Tracey said.

“If we could take this flat and move it somewhere on the ground floor, we would be delighted. But obviously we can't.

“If I had a choice, I wouldn't want to move, but I don't have an option.”

The former photographer, who uses a wheelchair, dreads leaving her home due to the challenges she faces.

She cannot use her prosthetic leg because it results in sore ulcers.

Tracey said: “I've got to bum shuffle my way up and down the stairs, or I've got to crawl up and down them. They are filthy, they are manky. Visitors have urinated on the stairs in the past.

“It makes me feel about an inch big. It is degrading and I feel worth worthless. I just feel that I've got no dignity left.”

Glasgow Times: Glasgow Times: Health professionals have informed Tracey she shouldn’t be using the stairs at all – which effectively leaves her housebound.

This is due to the effects on her other health conditions and the high risk of injury and falls.

And Tracey is currently “terrified” at the prospect of losing her right leg after the possibility was brought up by a surgeon earlier this month.

Glasgow Times: “I was quite shocked when we went to see the surgeon and that was the first thing he mentioned,” she said.

“He pointed out the trouble I'm having, and he said, ‘I think we might have to amputate’. But they also think they might need to take more of my left leg away as well.

"I suppose when they get the scans back, they'll make a decision.”

The worried mum is entitled to an electric wheelchair, but this cannot be provided due to her current housing situation – which is having a huge negative impact on her mental health.

“It gets me down so much at times,” Tracey said.

“It breaks my heart that I can’t get out as much as I want to.

“I only go out if I've got an appointment or if I'm going to Finding Your Feet [a charity that supports amputees]. I try to go there every week.

“They're really supportive. It's a wonderful place and I don't know what I would do without them.”

As well as the struggle with leaving the flat, Tracey’s wheelchair doesn’t fit through the bathroom door.

She has to crawl every time she uses the toilet or the shower. And Tracey has been told adaptions won’t be carried out due to her being on the waiting list for a move.

“They just say ‘you're at the top of the list. You'll get a house when we've got one to give you'," Tracey said.

“I think they need to relook at the system. They don't give me any timeline at all. They give me nothing.”

A spokesperson for Renfrewshire Council said: “The health and wellbeing of council tenants is our top priority. 

“We currently have a live application for the Whiteside family and our Local Housing Office is working to source suitable accommodation to meet the family’s needs. 

“We are aware of the pressure this is placing on the family and will continue to do everything we can to resolve the situation as quickly as possible. 

“We have also provided the family with advice on other housing providers in Renfrewshire who may be able to help them in their search for suitable accommodation.” 

Tracey revealed she is currently 68th on the list with a different housing provider in the area.