A GRANDMA with cancer was forced to wait seven hours on the side of a road after the RAC didn’t show up.
Jen Rooke, 71, was unable to take her pain medication, had no water and even wet herself because the wait was so long.
Ms Rooke was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2019, had a 12-hour operation that September and started chemotherapy to save her life.
The cancer returned in June this year and doctors put her on hormone treatment to reduce its size and painkillers.
Her tyre burst on her Audi Q3 on the A4 leaving the capital at around 2:50pm on August 17 while travelling home to Harrogate, North Yorks, after visiting her two sons in Clapham, south London.
The grandma called the RAC for help which she shells out £233 a year for their ‘peace of mind’ cover and includes roadside tyre replacement.
She told the RAC about her cancer and needing to take medication two hours after her first call but they only apologised and didn’t fast track her rescue.
While she was waiting, the ex-farmer realised she needed the bathroom and was conscious that her phone was running out of battery.
Ms Rooke left her car on the dual carriageway layby and trekked to a nearby housing estate, despite being in pain, to find a toilet.
However, residents were fearful about letting someone into their home so she ended up wetting herself.
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Ms Rooke added: “Since my cancer, my bladder isn’t fantastic. It was just dreadful. I never thought I’d be in that position.”
“I was in tears because I needed my medication. I have ovarian cancer and I was in a lot of pain.
“I rang back and started pleading with them, I cried and I pleaded.”
When they did finally arrive after 9pm, Ms Rooke was taken to a late-night garage to have her tyre replaced rather than RAC fixing it on the side of the road.
She was given the option of being taken to South Mimms – a village north of London – to wait for an official RAC van or to a late-night garage they were about to drive past.
‘I WAS SO ILL’
Ms Rooke was unable to call her children at this point as her phone had died.
She was forced to pay out £138 for a new tyre at a garage in the middle of the night which she says has had to fight to get the RAC to pay back before heading home.
She said: “I couldn’t go back to Harrogate because I was so ill.
“I just couldn’t believe what they had put me through, especially in the state I was in. I didn’t let my son see me like that.
“I pay £231 and it’s called peace of mind cover but they weren’t bothered.
“That’s the thing, they weren’t bothered that I was not well or that I’d been waiting for seven hours. That was quite sad.”
The RAC initially offered £50 in compensation but Ms Rooke challenged them to bump it up to £100.
An RAC spokesperson said: “We’re very sorry we couldn’t get there sooner.
“Unfortunately, we weren’t made aware that she was suffering with cancer, and needed to take medication, until several hours after she first called us.
“Had we known this earlier we would have prioritised her for faster attendance.
“We’ve reimbursed her for the new tyre and given her a gesture of goodwill to apologise for her experience which wasn’t up to our normal excellent service due to the extremely high number of breakdowns we were dealing with in the hot weather.”