A nurse was "left in tears" after having to walk 10 flights of stairs when the lift in her block of flats stopped working.

Anola Pillabo was “dreading to come home” after the lift outage at Austen Heights on Centenary Plaza which lasted almost three weeks.

Although the outage, which began on March 8, was repaired on Thursday, the 53-year-old endoscopy nurse at Southampton General Hospital, who had surgery on her foot a year ago, spoke to the Echo about the “nightmare” the problems have had on her and her partner David.

She said: "After a 12-hour shift for which I am basically on my feet all day, I would have to catch the bus and then walk up ten flights of stairs.

“My surgery last year forced me to be off for six months, and after I came back I was still doing short hours.

“But after the last three weeks, the pain has just got really bad. There were times when I came home crying because of the pain.

“I even had to call the hospital and say I couldn’t come to work. I had a bad chest as well which made it worse but it meant I couldn’t go to work for a week.”

Her partner, David Huff, 40, said the issue affected other residents as well.

Daily Echo: David Huff, 40David Huff, 40 (Image: Newsquest, Jose Ramos)He said: “People started putting chairs by the stairs because of some of the elderly residents who live here, although they might only live on the sixth floor, it is still a lot for them if they have health issues.”

The lift woes also put a stop to any big food shop the couple could do.

He said: “I haven’t been able to do a food shop for the last three weeks.

“Living on the 10th floor it was just too much to go up the stairs, especially considering that we would have to go up and down multiple times if we had a lot of shopping.

“So, I just went out for the essentials when I needed it. My partner has some pain in her ankle so she also couldn’t go."

Daily Echo: Anola Pillabo, would have to sit down when taking the stairsAnola Pillabo, would have to sit down when taking the stairs (Image: Newsquest, Jose Ramos)

He recalled the time she tried to call the management company, Alexander Faulkner Partnership (AFP), but received no response.

He said: “One of the weeks it was out I tried emailing the people in the office to try to get an estimation as to how long it would be out and I kept on getting an email saying they were out of office.

“The lack of communication just made it worse. It was just radio silent for a week.”

A spokesperson for AFP said: “We are sorry for the disruption caused by the recent lift breakdown at Austen Heights, which we are pleased to report is now back in full working order.

"We understand the challenges a lift outage can pose, and we do everything we can to get them back working as soon as possible whilst making sure to update residents at every step.

"As soon as this issue was brought to our attention, measures were immediately taken to source the necessary replacement part and ensure the lift was repaired as quickly as possible."