Actually my mother (81) had been trying to get hold of me early in the morning, and with a new phone I hadn't noticed the calls. At 8:00am my sister called with the news that mum had fallen in the bathroom and had severely cut her leg and that the emergency services were on site. Apparently she had called 999 at 7:30am after managing to walk to one of the upstairs rooms and use the landline. The mobile phone with all contact numbers was downstairs.
This incident comes off the back of a 14 week spell in hospital which ended on the 4th July, when my mother returned home to recuperate after a stent had been inserted. Only the day before, Wednesday, mum had said that she was beginning to feel her old self again... and now this.
My niece fortunately off work for the day got around to the house in Leavesden by 8:30am to be on hand to keep us abreast of the situation... I spoke with mum who was coherent although weak through losing a lot of blood and with low blood pressure. Clearly shaken and aghast at causing so much trouble for everyone she was still in the bathroom at this time. With a stair lift installed in the house and access difficult and growing urgency due to mums condition it was decided to get mum out it would have to be through the upstairs window, crane and harness. Not my mothers preferred method of leaving the house, but needs must.
I arrived 9:00am a bit after the event, mum was already in the ambulance, doors back on downstairs and just the upstairs window that needed to be refitted. A combination of Watford Red Watch, paramedics, ambulance crew and the Air Ambulance (not required on this occasion) all combining in difficult circumstances to extract mum and get her down to Watford General A & E for much needed medical attention.
At the hospital the diagnosis has been to operate tomorrow on severe blood clots and with a probable week or so in the hospital for recovery before returning home. I want to personally thank all the emergency services involved in this operation today, without which the day would have ended very differently. We don't call on these services very often in our lives... but when we do, like on this occasion, it can be the difference between life and death.
The Watford observer did get this story in the newspaper (with some errors) but it is nice that this service where we can report the news ourselves is now becoming available...
Pictures all courtesy of Watford Red Watch (via Twitter @ redsfirewatch)