Broken elevators force Richmond Heights handicapped man up 5 flights of stairs to get to doctor

Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 5:48 PM EDT
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RICHMOND HEIGHTS, Ohio (WOIO) - An elderly man has been forced to walk up and down flights of stairs just to get to his doctors appointments.

The elevators at his luxury apartment building haven’t worked since Friday.

“I don’t want to see nothing happen to them,” said Daughter Nakia Starks. “Especially if it could be prevented.”

Nakia Starks is worried sick about her parents.

Her dad, Robert Gabriel, is a dialysis patient and needs to use a scooter to get around.

Yet for the last five days, she says he’s had to make it down and back up five flights of stairs just to make it to doctors appointments.

“I’m not able to walk on my own,” said Gabriel. “I’m dealing with calluses on the bottom of my feet. I’m in a special hospital shoe, and it’s very, very dangerous trying to go up five flights of steps with those types of shoes on, but I have no other choice.”

Gabriel says he’s forced to make the trek carrying his walker and a bag for his dialysis.

It’s tiring enough, he’s had to stop going to church, putting his safety first.

His daughter says that’s not the only problem they’ve had to deal with.

“Every time I come here, it’s trash everywhere,” said Starks. “If I walk up the stairs its trash, or old shoes, or some type of trash. Or if I walk in the hallway, it’d be 10-12 bags just sitting by the trash.”

Starks says the compactor room where the trash is supposed to go is locked.

Left with no answers about when to expect a fix, Starks called the 19 Troubleshooters.

We got straight to work.

Property management wouldn’t talk to us in person, so we tried their number, instead.

After getting sent to voicemail, we even went to RHM Real Estate’s Office.

They wouldn’t let us in without an appointment.

A lot of questions without any answers, but we’ll stay on management until something is done.

In the mean time, Gabriel’s leaning on God to get through this.

“It’s nothing but God’s grace that gives me the strength to keep going,” said Gabriel.

We noticed the city of Richmond Heights issued fire safety code violations for the building.

They’re giving management until August 21st to fix all the issues.