BUSHWICK - A man is grieving the loss of his asthmatic wife after he says broken elevators forced her to climb 10 flights in their Bushwick housing project.

Larry Gonzalez, of 140 Moore St., claims his wife Lillian Milan found the elevators out of use when she returned from an August 20 doctor's appointment. Gonzalez says Milan, who used an oxygen tank, waited outside while he climbed the stairs to call the New York City Housing Authority to fix the problem.

Gonzalez claims after hours of waiting, he helped his wife climb the steps because she had to use the bathroom. He says she started having difficulty breathing and suffered a fatal asthma attack.

NYCHA officials say they extend their sympathies to the woman's family. The agency maintains the maintenance staff was dispatched immediately to the Bushwick Houses after the call came in. NYCHA says the elevators were up and running within four hours.

Residents complain the building's elevators are chronically broken.