The Wokingham Paper

‘It will be a while before I start feeling wonderful again’

AN ELDERLY woman from Crowthorne would like to thank members of the public for coming to her aid after a fall in Wokingham town centre.

Yvonne Robertson was walking along Peach Street on Thursday, February 27, when she tripped on an uneven paving stone.

The 90-year-old said she was overwhelmed by the kindness and compassion shown to her by people in Wokingham who happened to see her in distress.

She said: “At about half-past five, I was just past GAIL’s Bakery when I tripped on the edge of a misaligned paving stone.

“I can remember thinking as I went down that my head would hit the deck before any other part of me. It was my left temple that met the hard ground and blood started pouring from my nose.

“Within a few moments, a middle-aged gentleman had lifted me into a sitting position,  propped up against him. He pinched the bridge of my nose and explained that he was a retired police officer and that was the correct thing to do to stem the blood flow.

“His hands were covered in my blood but he assured me he did not mind. His wife got an ice pack from the bakery which people said reduced the swelling immediately. Apparently a young lady held it in position for quite some time.”

She said that passers-by offered more tissues after she had used her own.

“It was a bitterly cold, windy day and two young ladies – maybe in their 20s – took off their jackets and laid them over my legs to help keep out the cold,” added Mrs Robertson. “One young man dialled 999 and I asked another to phone my husband. He retrieved the number from my wallet and could have easily robbed me, but he did not.”

Mrs Robertson said that two police officers arrived and lifted her from the ground, so that she could use the toilets in GAIL’s Bakery.

“My husband said I made a nasty mess, not only on the pavement, but inside the cafe too.  Nevertheless, the staff there cleared it all up and could not have been more hospitable.”

Mrs Robertson was taken to Frimley Park hospital where she had a CT scan.

“The scan of my head showed I had a fractured nose and a bleed on the brain,” she said. “There was talk of needing neurosurgery. The thought of having my skull drilled open was terrifying.”

However, doctors confirmed that the incident did not require surgery and Mrs Robertson was treated in hospital for two days before being discharged on Saturday, February 29.

“My appearance is improving slowly every day, but how I feel isn’t,” she said.

“The swelling is still here, and the bruises have turned green and yellow.

“I’m not going to feel wonderful for a while.”

Mrs Robertson is looking to seek compensation from the borough council because she fell after tripping on an uneven pavement.

She added: “The week after, I didn’t have the confidence to walk, but when we drove past the site I was shocked at just how uneven that paving is.

“We go to Waitrose regularly and a lot of staff said they had noticed it too.

“So much money was spent on that paving, the council needs to remedy this danger as soon as possible before someone is hurt even more badly than I was.”

A council spokesperson said: “We would like to offer our sincere apologies to Mrs Robertson for the traumatic experience she has suffered. We wish her a full recovery that is as quick and comfortable as possible.

“We carry out regular and frequent inspections of the streets in Wokingham town centre, to ensure the area is well maintained for pedestrians.

 “All our footways and roads across the borough are subject to a walked visual condition inspection at least once a year with town centre locations walked more frequently. Any dangerous road or pavement defects will be made safe within two hours of having been reported, with a permanent fix within 28 days.”

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