Kate Kocatekin's dream for her two children has fallen completely and horribly to pieces.
Kate's fourteen-year-old daughter Alice is suffering from a rare form of mitochondrial disease which is literally eating away at her brain.
She is nearing the end of this awful ordeal, but to add to Kate's pain, her husband - Alice's father - walked out just over a year ago as Alice's condition got much worse.More stories from Today Tonight
Thirteen-year-old Henry might now be the man of the house, but he can't be expected to finish building it.
"I would ask the builder ‘is everything okay’ and (he’d say) 'everything's going great' and it was tricky because I didn't know.
“I asked ‘should I be the project manager?’ 'No, no, no’, he said - it's better that he does it all," Kate said.
Kate and the builder John Cleary both knew that compromises would be needed to build the house for th amount agreed on. But two years and with invoices totalling almost $700,000 the house is nowhere near complete. It's downright unsafe.
Building consultant Shawn Moore inspects properties for a living, with Safe House Property Consultants.
According to him “it's just not acceptable - they shouldn't even be living (in it). It's not safe, there is wiring hanging out of the walls, they could be live - we don't know. The plumbing is incomplete, tiling’s not done, waterproofing is incomplete, exhaust is not fitted.
“It's a relatively cheap home to build - around the $500,000 mark,” Moore said.
Cleary says he is the real victim here.
"I know she's been telling you that I've treated her really badly, but I actually feel I've been treated pretty badly myself," he said of Kate.
The community has rallied around Kate, Alice and Henry - helping with painting and transport to and from the Sydney Children's Hospital. Kate rushes between there and her part time job as a kindergarten teacher to keep food on the table.
Cleary hopes to keep building. He's selling his family home, and property - including a horse track asking for nearly one million dollars - because of the hit he says he took on Kate's house.
As for Kate - she's trying not to think about being homeless.
The story was held up by court injunctions initiated by Cleary for three months. Finally the court ruled we were entitled to bring it to you and Kate wanted us to proceed.
Sadly though Alice lost her own battle on June 5th.
Cleary continues to deny he's to blame for the house going over budget or that his work is substandard.
If you feel you can assist Kate and Henry in any way please contact us.
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