NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Bronx woman is in critical condition, after falling down a flight of stairs in her New York City Housing Authority building.
The woman’s family says elevators in the building didn’t work. CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez spoke to her family members on Tuesday.
Annette Dowe broke down in tears outside the Webster Houses in the Bronx, where her mother, a tenant, fell down a flight of stairs. Her injuries left her in a coma.
“I’m very angry with NYCHA,” Dowe said.
Early Saturday morning, 66-year-old Eleanor Dowe, suffering from kidney failure, was headed to dialysis. Her family said she couldn’t take an elevator down from her 19th floor apartment, because one was broken and the other was malfunctioning.
“It was running, but it wasn’t stopping on her floor … So that’s what made her have to walk down to the next floor to catch the elevator. But in the midst of her walking down she slipped and fell and hit her head,” Annette Dowe said.
The Dowe family, surrounded by community leaders, demanded NYCHA be held accountable.
They showed records of more than a dozen complaints Eleanor Dowe filed with the housing authority about the broken elevator, dating to August. The latest on New Year’s Day, the day before she fell.
“No more. This is not acceptable. We are not gonna allow not one more person to have to end up in the hospital because NYCHA couldn’t come and make a simple phone call to have a basic repair done,” niece Aline Dowe said.
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When asked why the elevators weren’t repaired despite the complaints, NYCHA would only say one elevator in Eleanor Dowe’s building was briefly inoperable on the day of the accident. The other was working and available for her to use.
But Eleanor Dowe’s family said that elevator wouldn’t stop on her floor.
“This is habitual failure,” Aline Dowe said.
A failure the family prays won’t claim Eleanor’s life.
“I need God to step in. I need a miracle. That’s what I need,” Annette Dowe said.
It’s in NYCHA’s 2021 capital budget to replace those elevators with brand new ones, but residents said they aren’t optimistic that will happen any time soon.
CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez contributed to this report