Wheelchair-bound pensioner appeals for help after supermarket fall

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Wheelchair-bound pensioner appeals for help after supermarket fall

2nd March 2010

A Widnes pensioner who was left unable to walk after a fall in her local supermarket has appealed for witnesses to come forward and help in her fight for justice.

Maureen Hughes, of Prescott Road, has been left wheelchair-bound after sustaining a serious leg injury at the Asda supermarket in Widnes Road, Widnes, on 2 December last year.

"I'd gone into the supermarket at around one o'clock that afternoon with my husband Sydney," said Mrs Hughes, 71. "I was walking ahead and he was pushing the trolley behind me. We always shopped like that so that I could choose items and drop them into the trolley."

Mrs Hughes said she was using a wheeled walking frame that day to aid her around the store. "As I reached for some tomatoes, I suddenly felt my foot hit something in front of me," she said. "I was holding on to the wheelie-frame with my right hand, and as I tripped I lost my balance and began to fall forward. The wheelie-frame moved forward and I couldn't stop myself from falling to the ground."

Mrs Hughes had tripped over a carpeted mat which was on the floor of the aisle she was walking in. "The mat wasn't flush to the floor, and the end was sticking up by at least half an inch," she said. "It was grey and had a rubber backing with a carpeted surface on the top.

"I completely twisted around as I fell, so I landed facing back in the direction that I had been coming. My left leg was under the right side of my body and felt incredibly painful. I knew that I'd badly hurt myself."

Mrs Hughes was in so much pain and discomfort that paramedics gave her morphine as she lay on the supermarket floor before they could attempt to move her.

Louise Farrar, a personal injury specialist with Fentons Solicitors LLP, said Mrs Hughes was taken to Warrington District General Hospital for emergency treatment. "X-rays confirmed that Mrs Hughes had smashed the shaft of the femur bone in her left leg," said Mrs Farrar. "She was admitted to hospital and underwent an operation where a nail was inserted into her leg to provide additional support."

Although Mrs Hughes was allowed home from hospital for two days over Christmas, she has only recently been discharged from hospital.

"Mrs Hughes cannot walk on her damaged leg at all, and is reliant on a wheelchair to get around at the moment," said Mrs Farrar. "Although the long-term prognosis is not yet known, there is a strong possibility she will also need a further operation to have a rod inserted into her right leg. Whatever happens in the future, Mrs Hughes is going to need a lot of help and support in the future to aid her recovery.

"In order to secure the care that she will need, we are urging anyone who might have helpful information about the incident to come forward," she said. "We are particularly keen to speak to anyone who was in the same aisle of the supermarket as Mrs Hughes when she tripped over the floor mat, or from anyone who may have tripped over one of these mats themselves when visiting the store.

"There were several shoppers in the supermarket that day. We're hoping that someone can help Mrs Hughes and her family secure the help they will need in the future."

Can you help?
If you remember seeing the incident at the Asda store in Widnes Road, Widnes, at around 1pm on Wednesday, 2 December 2009, please contact Louise Farrar at Fentons Solicitors LLP on 0161 238 6439 or e-mail louise.farrar@fentons.co.uk.