Pensioner fighting cancer fears he may die before he can return to flooded Doncaster home

Poorly pensioner Mick Ryan fears he may never return to his home after it was devastated in floods which struck Doncaster last year.

By David Kessen
Friday, 10th January 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Friday, 10th January 2020, 11:45 am

Mick, a retired electrical technician, and partner Kath Smith, were evacuated from Fishlake last year after the Don burst its banks on November 8.

But Mick, currently undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, fears his illness may kill him before the home they shared on Grove Road is habitable.

Insurance bosses have this week told him they have completed initial inspections of the property to allow work to start on the repairs, two months on from the disaster.

Mick Ryan was flooded out of his home in Fishlake. He is suffering from cancer and fears he could die before his home is made habitable again

He is suffering from a rare cancer of the soft tissues around his stomach and rates his chances of getting back before he dies at evens.

He said: “I’m quite ill so I can’t go round to the property because my immune system is down due to the chemotherapy.

“I would say it’s 50-50 if I see my own bed again, although that would be a new bed. I spent five days at Doncaster Royal Infirmary last week.

“But I don’t think the work at the house is far off a rebuild. There is a lot of work to be done.”

The scene outside Mick Ryan's home in Fishlake

Plasterers are now starting work.

The couple’s home was under more than two feet of water. They had been monitoring the Environment Agency flood warnings all day but saw no alerts for Fishlake.

Then a deluge of water arrived at around 9.30pm. They initially evacuated to a friend’s home on higher ground in the village – but then evacuated again when their house also started to flood at around 1am. They were driven out of the village by a farmer, who pulled them on a trailer behind his tractor.

Then they spent time at a refuge centre at The Dome, before moving into a house in Barnby Dun while there was no access into Fishlake. Now they are back in a rented property in Fishlake.

Floodwater that collected in the bath at Mick Ryan's flooded home in Fishlake.

As well as the rebuilding, the couple have had to bring in pest control experts from Doncaster Council.

Mick said their home had been inundated with rats since the floods, which he believes were washed up from nearby drains.

The fireplace at Mick Ryan's flooded out home in Fishlake. The mark showing where the water level rose to can been seen in the change of colour.