IN SHOCK AFTER FALL
I felt a crack and I honestly thought I’d smashed my face. I couldn’t move my jaw. The pain was excruciating. It was just dreadful. It petrifies me now when I think back to that day. I’ve been shaking ever since it happened
MAUREEN Davis looks like the victim of a savage beating (pictured).
The 71-year-old’s face is black and blue and her ribs are extensively bruised.
But the Moama woman is not the victim of a violent attack. Her injuries are the result of a fall from tripping on a cracked footpath in Echuca last week. ‘‘It was just terrifying,’’ she said. ‘‘It petrifies me now when I think back to that day. I’ve been shaking ever since it happened.’’
Mrs Davis had just left her podiatrist appointment about 10.30am last Tuesday, turning the corner into Hare St from Eyre St.
‘‘After about 50m, I tripped over a damaged part of the footpath. I tried to control myself and then I tripped over another uneven and cracked part of the footpath,’’ she said.
‘‘I landed hard on my chest and face. I felt a crack and I honestly thought I’d smashed my face. I couldn’t move my jaw. The pain was excruciating. It was just dreadful.’’
Shockingly, several cars drove straight past Mrs Davis, who called her daughter before dragging herself 50m to the intersection.
‘‘Eventually after about five or 10 minutes a lady stopped and helped me. By that time, I had managed to prop myself up and my daughter had called an ambulance. I honestly didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t speak properly and I was spitting blood and my nose was bleeding. I was in shock.’
Once she arrived at Echuca hospital, X-rays were done on her head, chest and back to determine if she had broken any bones.
‘‘Thankfully nothing was broken but my whole face was black and I had bruises and abrasions to my chest and ribs,’’ she said.
Mrs Davis spent four nights in the ERH’s medical ward before being discharged on Saturday.
‘‘I’m still very sore and bruised and have trouble walking,’’ she said.
Mrs Davis said the experience had shattered her confidence.
‘‘I love walking but I’m very reluctant now,’’ she said. ‘‘This has been horrific. It’s left me terribly anxious and nervous and frightened to walk now.’’
MRS Davis is now calling on Campaspe Shire Council to fix the damaged footpaths around town. ‘‘I’d like council to take a bit of time to look at these footpaths because we have a lot of elderly people who walk for health reasons and had I been 10 years older, I don’t think I would have lived through this,’’ she said. Campaspe Shire acting infrastructure services general manager Richard Conway said footpaths across the shire were inspected regularly and repaired where necessary in line with the road management plan, which sets out the hierarchy of footpaths (primary or secondary), inspection programs and intervention levels (when works are required). ‘‘As well as the regular inspection program, inspections are also done every time a community member raises a service request about a section of footpath,’’ he said. Mr Conway encouraged Mrs Davis to lodge a service request so an inspection can be completed and action taken as required. ‘‘Maintenance may include grinding out a step in the footpath or replacing localised bays with new concrete,’’ he said. ‘‘Council also invests in the replacement of existing sections of footpath each year. Council has committed $400,000 to the footpath program in the 2018-19 financial year.’’ Mrs Davis said she would lodge a request yesterday. She also thanked everyone who helped her through this ordeal, from the woman who found her and the paramedics who responded so quickly, to the nurses and doctors at ERH. ‘‘I can’t fault any of them. I felt the love and care and professionalism of the group of people looking after me,’’ she said. ‘‘I was a mess, but the treatment I received at the hospital was absolutely overwhelming. ‘‘The nurses and doctors helped me get through so much and made my life easier. ‘‘We’re very lucky to have such a wonderful facility in Echuca and I think everyone should appreciate what we have as the staff go above and beyond.’’