'Very joyful': Woman using rainwater to bathe after $7K pipe burst receives help from community

Lileana Pearson Image
Sunday, May 14, 2023
Action 13: Woman forced to use rainwater gets help from Houstonians
One day after ABC13 learned about Angelica Pena's dilemma, plumbers from across the center asked if they could repair the pipe for her at no cost.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Angelica Pena is a 75-year-old woman living in Houston's north side. An amputee who's also living with diabetes, she's been without water for two years when a pipe burst in 2021. She didn't have the money to fix it, so she and her caretaker resorted to collecting rainwater.

"The mental anguish she is going through right now is very difficult," Albert Flores, the man coordinating help for Pena, said.

ORIGINAL STORY: 75-year-old woman cuts off water for 2 years following expensive pipe burst in heart of Houston

Rain water running off her roof is collected in barrels so she can bathe, flush the toilet, and wash dishes. Pena detailed the stress it caused her to live without the convenience many take for granted- a hot shower, ice for a drink, and the ability to turn the tap and see water come out.

"Almost helpless. She got to the point where she basically gave up," Flores said.

The heartbreaking reality touched the hearts of dozens of Houstonians. A GoFundMe has raised over $3,500, and plumbers from across the city have asked to come see if they can fix the water issue at no cost.

"For that outreach and for the support, it's golden. It's a good feeling," Flores said.

Several companies are coming to assess the fix, and Albert Flores, the man who tipped off ABC13 and translated for us, hopes there will be a clear plan by Monday.

SEE ALSO: Woman left with nowhere to go after pipes burst in her home

"Being able to see water come out of those faucets will be very joyful," Flores said.

Flores told ABC13 the additional money from the GoFundMe will be used to install a ramp up to Pena's front door for easier access if plumbers are able to repair the pipe at no cost.

"If we have any kind of funding left over, there are railings that need to be done so she doesn't fall or slip or anything like that, so everything seems to be working great right now, and it seems to be looking good, so hopefully sometime next week we will have an update on the work and what is being done for Mrs. Pena here on the north side," Flores said.

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