Woman with cancer unable to bathe for months after council works delay
- Credit: Sarah Burgess
A 91-year-old woman with terminal cancer left waiting more than three months for home repairs said she's "never known anything like it" in her 46 years as a council tenant.
Doreen Johnson, from Cobholm Close, Great Yarmouth, has accused Great Yarmouth Borough Council of "messing her around" after the top floor of her house was flooded in August following heavy rain.
A hole in the roof of her back bedroom originally appeared two years ago, but was only mended with a plastic covering after water poured through again this summer - rendering her sockets unsafe and causing damp in the room where her carer sleeps.
At the time, the council's contractors came to secure the back bedroom, but in the process removed the socket her electric chair was plugged into, causing it to malfunction.
She was unable to get upstairs and had to rely on strip-washes and a commode because she could not reach the bathroom.
"I went three and a half months without a bath", Mrs Johnson said. "I shouldn't have to be dealing with this at my age and when I'm so unwell. It's despicable. I rang them time and time again about the repairs but heard nothing, and that made me so angry."
She had been sleeping on her living room recliner during that time as the water damage also caused "disgusting mould" in her own downstairs bedroom.
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The council apologised for the delay and visited the property earlier this month.
A GYBC spokesperson said: "Following a temporary repair, the roof repairs are now fully complete.
"While we appreciate it can be frustrating for tenants, factors affecting speed of completion can include the size and complexity of job, availability of labour and weather conditions.
“Originally, the plug socket had to be isolated and made safe by a trained electrician due to water ingress.
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"Our engineer has since replaced the single socket, putting in a conversion box to make it a double socket. We apologise for any issues this caused.
“During these works, GYN have kept in continuous contact with the tenant to update on progress.”
Mrs Johnson said: "GY Norse finally came to do the repairs a couple of weeks ago, and an inspector told us the entire ceiling in the back bedroom would now have to be replaced because of asbestos.
"I've never known anything like it."