We've no water - mum and son suffering cancer

Cormac Byrne

A Dublin mother and son who are suffering from bowel cancer were left without water for six days.

Martina Moore and her 19-year-old son, from Clonshaugh in North Dublin, use the bathroom on average 20 times a day due to their condition.

Last week, the pair were forced to carry water from a tank. Both suffer from a hereditary bowel disease and need large amounts of water for their day-to-day living.

Martina and her son have have undergone multiple surgeries -- he had his first surgery aged 13 and his last just over a year ago.

"Myself and my son have had major bowel surgery and require to use the toilet up to 15 to 20 times each per day," Martina said.

"No amount of water carried from standpipes or water tankers can suffice to flush our toilet as many times as we require, which leaves us in a dire situation.

"We've been washing ourselves out of the sink and just feel filthy, it's horrible."

The Moore family have been forced to collect water from tankers and store it in their bath.

The plight of the Moore family has been affected further by the fact that Martina's husband suffered a brain haemorrhage.

"My husband walks with a limp ever since his brain haemorrhage in 2003, he's not balanced so I have to drive him to and from work," she added. "He's unable to drive down to the tanker and he's not able to help us carry the water."

Martina explains that she could take more tablets to limit the number of times she has to use the bathroom, but she would run the risk of becoming addicted.

"If we were going to the beach we would take extra tablets so we wouldn't be searching for a bathroom all day, but the tablets contain codeine and can become addictive. We just have to watch what we eat, certain foods really exacerbate our problem."

Martina came forward to highlight the fact that many people need water for more than cooking and cleaning and should not be afraid to ask for help, even though they may be embarrassed about their situation.

"I have made several efforts to contact the water board and local politicians but, even though they express concern, I am still stuck having to spare the amount of times I can flush the toilet because I couldn't possibly transport the quantity of water I would need."