Bloodied and bruised, 84-year-old speaks out

Published: 19 Jul 2012 13:000 comments

A PENSIONER from Enniskillen who fell and hurt herself after an inconsiderate motorist parked across the pavement close to her house has been left black and blue.

The facial injuries sustained by the 84-year-old woman who fell in Cornagrade.

The 84-year-old injured her face, nose, arm and knee and was left bleeding heavily on the ground following the stumble in the Cornagrade area on Monday morning.

To add insult to injury, the pensioner claims she waited for three hours at the new South West Acute Hospital before she was given a painkiller to ease her discomfort.

"After I fell I lay on the ground and was bleeding so bad I couldn't see. When people are taught to drive they are taught not to park their car at an entrance, or obstruct any other person. Common sense tells you not to do that," she said.

Inspector Roy Robinson of Enniskillen Police says the driver who parked on the footpath has been reported to the Public Prosecution Service and may face prosecution for allowing his vehicle to cause an obstruction.

"It is by the grace of God that this woman didn't die in this accident," he said.

The elderly grandmother, who doesn't want to be named, fell while trying to manoeuvre her zimmer frame around the car. She sustained cuts and bruises.

"I fell onto my mouth and nose, my arm has been left black and blue. I was covered in blood; my face, hair, hands. Even the blouse, trousers and shoes were saturated in blood. A lady ran over to me, took tissues from my bag and mopped up the blood," she said.

Shortly after she fell, her son just happened to arrive at the scene and witnessed the commotion. "He seen his mother lying on the ground and the blood spewing out of her - he got an awful fright. He rushed me to the hospital. The blood was gushing out of me the whole way there".

But it was at the new South West Acute Hospital where the pensioner's pain continued.

"I was brought to accident and emergency and the blood was spewing out of me. I was put into a very posh room and was left there until someone took my blood pressure. They told me the doctor would see me shortly - I waited for quite sometime.

"Nobody cleaned me up at first, I was just sitting in a mess. My hair and face was still covered in blood. I was then left sitting in a long corridor outside the x-ray department. Nobody came out to see me at that point and I was there for half an hour, sitting in pain," she said.

After the x-ray was carried out, the lady says she was asked to wait outside in the corridor again.

"By that stage I needed to go to the bathroom. I asked a staff member if she could bring me to the toilet and she said she wouldn't be allowed to do that. So a doctor then brought me to the toilet. But nobody came to take me back out of the bathroom and the wheelchair wouldn't go out of the door".

She claimed she was first given a painkiller to ease the pain three hours after she first asked for one.

"I asked them for a painkiller three or four times - my head was all raw and sore," she said.

While she doesn't blame the staff, the pensioner says the 'system' needs reviewed.

"The system is so bad: You can't see anyone. You are isolated. You are in a room. Nobody sees you. People are going about their business and doing their job. They don't look in at you because they aren't dealing with you.

"Do you understand what I am saying? There was nobody there to speak to, nobody to ask. I could have died in that place and nobody there. Up at the old hospital, the Erne, they were caring, they were allowed to be caring," she said.

A spokesperson for the Western Trust declined to comment on the woman's specific complaint - citing patient confidently - but in relation to the single occupancy rooms at the hospital, she said.

"Offering single rooms protects patient privacy and dignity and importantly, it is the best possible option for the prevention and control of infections."

Looking back at her fall this week, the pensioner says she is thankful it wasn't more serious.

"It could have been worse, I could have broken a bone or worse. Hopefully by telling my story this kind of thing won't happen again.

"I am not looking for revenge, but if the man was to look at me and see my face he would think again before he parked his car on the footpath," she said.

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