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96-year-old veteran who lost home to Storm Dennis floods moves in with daughter

Cardiff Council has adapted the home so Gordon Matthews can live there safely.

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Rescue workers in Nantgarw, South Wales during Storm Dennis (PA)

Rescue workers in Nantgarw, South Wales during Storm Dennis (PA)

Rescue workers in Nantgarw, South Wales during Storm Dennis (PA)

A 96-year-old RAF veteran whose home was devastated by flooding during Storm Dennis has now moved in with his daughter after her home was adapted for him.

Gordon Matthews awoke on his birthday in February to find water in his house in Nantgarw in Rhondda Cynon Taf, South Wales.

He was rescued in a boat surrounded by knee-high flooded water and was only able to salvage his treasured war medals.

Mr Matthews is now safely living with his daughter Catherine in his childhood home in nearby Tongwynlais, following a number of adaptations by Cardiff Council.

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96-year-old Gordon Matthews on a stair-lift installed at his daughter’s home (Cardiff Council/PA)

96-year-old Gordon Matthews on a stair-lift installed at his daughter’s home (Cardiff Council/PA)

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96-year-old Gordon Matthews on a stair-lift installed at his daughter’s home (Cardiff Council/PA)

Councillor Huw Thomas, leader of the council, said: “The work at Mr Matthews’ daughter’s home means he can live with family and not be alone at this particularly difficult time.

“We know he is beginning to recover from the distress he experienced earlier in the year and is settling in very well, enjoying daily exercise in the community which is having a positive effect on his physical and mental wellbeing.”

A stair-lift has been installed as well as a level-access shower, rails to help Mr Matthews move around the house, chair raisers, a bed loop rail to help him stand, additional heating and improved access to the home.

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Mr Matthews during his RAF service (Cardiff Council/PA)

Mr Matthews during his RAF service (Cardiff Council/PA)

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Mr Matthews during his RAF service (Cardiff Council/PA)

His daughter said the work meant Mr Matthews no longer felt “trapped” in the bedroom.

“I don’t have to worry about him trying the stairs alone and potentially having an accident,” she said.

“He is making great progress in his day-to-day living, even walking a little bit further every day to build up his strength.”

Hundreds of homes across Wales were directly affected by flooding during storms in February, when more than a month’s worth of rain fell in one day in some areas.

PA