Granddad admitted to hospital after swallowing sewage water in flooded home

A grandfather was taken to hospital after accidentally swallowing sewage water when his house was flooded.

Chris Spencer and his wife Marlene, both 70, were forced to flee their home in Chester on Wednesday night with the help of their family after dirty water began seeping in amid the bad weather caused by Storm Christoph.

Flooding in Chris and Marlene Spencer's home in Chester
Flooding in Chris and Marlene Spencer's home in Chester

Granddaughter Alex Roberts, who went to help her grandparents after receiving a call, told the PA news agency: “As he was trying to get out he fell over into the water and hurt his back, then he swallowed sewage water.

“With that, he had hypothermia as well because he was so cold so he had to go to hospital and while we were trying to take him out of the water I swallowed some sewage water as well so I had to get antibiotics from the hospital too.”

Ms Roberts, 20, said she and her family, who live nearby, went round to help after receiving a call from her grandmother who was “crying her eyes out” some time after 10pm.

“It was just literal knee-deep water surrounding the whole of the houses,” Ms Roberts said. “We ran in and we then figured out it was all sewage water so you can imagine the smell.

“Within five minutes it was at least three feet deep.”

Chris and Marlene Spencer
Chris and Marlene Spencer

Mr Spencer stayed at the Countess of Chester hospital overnight before being discharged at around 7am.

He and his wife are now staying with Ms Roberts and her parents.

Ms Roberts said the pair are struggling to come to terms with what happened, and added: “They’re not really speaking much, they’re absolutely shook.

“My nan is very upset, she keeps crying.

“It’s really hard to see them like that.”

Flooding in Chris and Marlene Spencer's home in Chester
Flooding in Chris and Marlene Spencer's home in Chester

The couple, neither of whom have had Covid vaccinations, are worried they will not receive any insurance money because there is a brook near their home.

When the property was previously flooded eight years ago, Ms Roberts said, they did not receive a payout, so she has set up a crowdfunding page in an attempt to help them.

Among the items lost or damaged this time are brand new sofas, family photos and records which they have collected “for years and years”, while the sewage made it into their new conservatory and even their oven.

“Pretty much everything you can think of has been destroyed,” Ms Roberts said.

As of Thursday evening, the fundraiser – which had an initial target of £2,500 – had reached £3,500.

⚠️ PLEASE share if you can!💖I didn’t want to do this but my Grandparents house got severely flooded last night with sewage water that reached our hips. It came through both doors, the bath, the toilet with nothing to stop it. Their house is destroyed.

— Al ★ ✮ ☆ (@alexrobertssx) January 21, 2021

“I am overwhelmed by the response,” Ms Roberts said.

“When I put the target at £2,500 I was thinking no-one’s ever going to give that, it’s just a target.

“I’m getting anonymous people donating £100, a local restaurant donated £250. It’s just like, wow, people are really wanting to help and I never thought people would do that for us.”

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