Bri­ton in in­duced coma af­ter fall­ing from sev­enth-floor bal­cony

Costa Blanca News (North Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - By Irena Bodnarec

WHAT should have been a re­lax­ing fam­ily hol­i­day in the sun has turned into a liv­ing night­mare for one fam­ily – only hours be­fore they were due to fly home.

Neil El­ler­ing­ton, part­ner Zoe Erv­ing and their two sons, aged four and 10, had spent a fan­tas­tic two weeks in Benidorm, stay­ing at the Le­vante Club apart­ments, and were due to fly back to Leeds Brad­ford last Thurs­day, June 9.

Want­ing to end their hol­i­day on a high, they spent their last night out and about, tak­ing a stroll and en­joy­ing a fi­nal drink.

They got back to their apart­ment in the early hours. Af­ter putting the boys to bed, Neil went out onto the bal­cony in his socks, hav­ing taken off his train­ers.

For rea­sons un­known to Zoe, he stepped onto the slightly raised ledge and then lost his foot­ing, slip­ping with no rub­ber sole to grip the tiled floor, and fell over the bal­cony be­fore she could grab his arm – seven floors down.

The roof to the re­cep­tion area for­tu­nately broke his fall and he was still con­scious on im­pact, with a hol­i­day­maker lean­ing over from a nearby bal­cony try­ing to talk to him and keep him awake be­fore med­i­cal help ar­rived.

He was rushed to Vil­la­joyosa hos­pi­tal, where he re­mains in an in­duced coma on a life sup­port ma­chine, af­ter sus­tain­ing a frac­tured skull, a bleed on the brain, two punc­tured lungs and mul­ti­ple frac­tures over his body.

To­tally be­side her­self and torn with what to do, Zoe took the boys back home to Hull on the booked flight that Thurs­day morn­ing, while Neil's fa­ther flew out to keep a vigil that same day.

She re­turned on Satur­day with Neil’s mum, Bar­bara Mann, who at the time of the ac­ci­dent was on hol­i­day in Tur­key.


Help In­ter­na­tional Benidorm have been a great moral sup­port to the cou­ple and pro­vided an in­ter­preter to as­sist at the hos­pi­tal.

They re­luc­tantly flew back yes­ter­day, leav­ing Neil still in a coma but need­ing to get back to re­as­sure the cou­ple's two chil­dren, with plans to re­turn once suit­able ar­range­ments have been made at home.


One of the worst things, Zoe said, was that they al­ways take out travel in­sur­ance, but for­got on this oc­ca­sion.

It is worth re­mem­ber­ing that if any amount of al­co­hol is dis­cov­ered when an ac­ci­dent oc­curs, an in­sur­ance pol­icy will be null and void. So in this par­tic­u­lar case, it may not have been any use. De­spite this, Zoe only has praise for the med­i­cal at­ten­tion her part­ner is re­ceiv­ing at the hos­pi­tal and is praying that he makes a full re­cov­ery.

Zoe Erv­ing (right) and Bar­bara Mann in Benidorm, await­ing the re­cov­ery of Neil (in­sert)

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