Shropshire Star

Woman thanks hospital that saved her life after serious fall on eve of husband's funeral

A Shropshire woman has given praise to the community hospital and quick-thinking neighbour who she believes saved her life just a day before she was due to cremate her husband.

Alison Pipe from Bridgnorth (right) and neighbour Annie Sutton

Alison Pipe, 72, says she was salting her drive after cold weather had turned heavy rainfall into ice when she slipped and fell, cracking her head open.

Mrs Pipe, from Greenfields Crescent in Bridgnorth, said: "It was the day before my husband's funeral. I'd been salting the drive and I remember walking along the side of the house when my legs suddenly went from under me and I fell and hit my head on a cornerstone."

She said that the fall had left her "dazed" and "covered in blood" but she managed to stagger to her neighbour's house to seek help.

"I must have been a sight because Annie Sutton, who lives across the road, shoved me straight into her car and took me to the Bridgnorth Community Hospital. Her calm and swift action possibly saved me. I don't remember any of it until I woke up with around 10 doctors and nurses surrounding me."

The medical team at the community hospital managed to stabilise Mrs Pipe, who had ruptured the temporal artery in her forehead, before calling for an ambulance to take her to the Accident & Emergency Department at Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley.

"The ambulance took around an hour to arrive as it had to come from Oswestry and I was rushed to Russells Hall with the blue lights flashing. If it hadn't been for the staff at the Bridgnorth Community Hospital, I doubt I would have survived very long," recalled Mrs Pipe.

"I think I lost around three pints of blood. The doctors at Russell Hall's Hospital had to cut all my clothes off before they stitched me up. I was then released the next day after I'd been in for about 13 hours."

Mrs Pipe returned home and was able to attend the funeral of husband, Peter, who had died aged 77 earlier in January after a long illness, with just "four hours to spare".

She also gave thanks to best friend Mary Salter, who sat at Alison's bedside as she recovered.

"It has been a difficult time," Mrs Pipe reflected. "But if it wasn't for the amazing team at the hospital in Bridgnorth and my neighbour Annie Sutton, I would not be here today and I certainly would not have made it to the funeral of my lovely husband. I so nearly didn’t make that last vital farewell. I cannot thank them enough.

"How lucky am I that there was this wonderful hospital in Bridgnorth and that there were so many qualified members of staff who knew what to do in these circumstances."