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Young woman loses leg after two slip accidents

Alison's Own Story

Photo showing leg stump

The human cost of slip accidents

I worked as a technical instructor in a large hospital. On 16/11/86 I was entering the main hospital whilst taking post to the sorting office when I slipped on decomposing leaves on the concrete steps. Fresh leaves had also fallen on top indicating the decomposing leaves had been there for some time. I fell heavily onto my right knee. I went home and returned to work the next day however my knee was extremely swollen, painful, and still bleeding. I was sent to hospital where it was sutured and x-rayed and it was found that I had damaged my kneecap, but hopefully time would heal it. I was still in pain three months later and I was told that I needed surgery. The leaves were supposed to be cleared on a daily basis, however, due to staff shortages this was not done.

On the 2/3/92 I slipped again, this time on an unmarked wet floor. Snow was falling outside when I entered the building to start work. I went to my office changed out of my boots and into my flat shoes. I left my office to do attendance figures, unknown to me someone had mopped the floor and failed to dry it or place any barriers or warning signs out. In addition, the door mat which was used daily by approximately 100 staff and patients was too small for the area of tiled floor and it did not have the capacity to absorb all of the water being brought in by pedestrians. Some of the water was being transferred on to the dry floor.

I slipped and fell directly onto my right ankle, I was assisted to a chair and it was evident that the ankle was broken, it was also very contorted. I was taken to hospital and placed in plaster for 6 weeks, however, the plaster was taken off after 3 weeks as the foot remained contorted. Over the next few years I faced some 32 operations to try to save the foot, eventually, I was told that I had dystonia caused by the accident and amputation was the only solution as my toes had by now lost their feeling and were turning black. I had my leg amputated on 30th May 1997.

One week after my fall the floors in the unit were made non-slip.

As anyone can imagine, these easily avoidable accidents have had a horrendous effect on my life. I was an active 21 year old, only just married when I had my first accident. I remained working until my second accident and enjoyed dancing, aerobics and jogging, but I cannot do any of these activities now and spend a lot of my time in a wheelchair.

Although I have received compensation, I have lost my job and I will never work again due to ongoing problems. My husband has also lost his business because he now has to care for me. No amount of money compensates or prepares you for what has happened to me.

11.03.09