Paul Bornand, a former organist at the Church of the Crossroads, is in the fight of his life as well as a fight for his life. Paul was diagnosed with AIDS about twenty years ago and if that isn’t enough he is also suffering with an aggressive form of skin cancer. Doctors have given Paul about six months to live and he would like to live the rest of his time as comfortable as possible. Due to an infestation of bed bugs at his apartment Paul is unable to receive home health care.
Paul lives at 21 Craigside, an apartment building owned by the United Church of Christ. Paul says that the bed bugs are so bad that he can see them on the drapes, the air conditioner and on the stove. He says that he can even see them walking across the floor. The bed bug infestation is so bad that he sleeps in the living room sitting up in his wheelchair.
Since Paul’s illness is terminal he is eligible for home health care services but when he contacted St. Francis Home Care Services he was told that they would not be able to receive home health care services until the bed bug situation had been handled. The property management company that maintains the building that Paul lives in had a few of the apartments sprayed but that did not take the problem away. Paul says he has filed numerous complaints with the building management but does not feel that his complaints or concerns are taken seriously and does not understand why he is not getting calls returned. When the infestation of bed bugs spread to all of the floors the exterminators were called back.
Paul says he has hurt himself by trying to clean up by bagging and boiling his clothes, which needed to be done daily.. Paul said he was treated for a broken clavicle that he broke when he was moving around and trying to clean up the bed bugs. Paul ended up spending six days in the hospital due to renal failure that was caused by stress and dehydration. Paul says that when he contacted the Department of Health he was told that the owners of the property could not be forced to take care of the bed bug problem since bed bugs were a nuisance and not a health hazard. Paul is hopeful that this last treatment for the bed bugs by the exterminator will finally eradicate them completely so that he can spend the rest of the time he has left in peace.