AN 81-year-old woman is recovering in hospital after her throat was pierced by glass when she tripped on the pavement and fell through the window of a hair salon.
Helen Lyons had to be treated in the intensive care high dependency unit at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary after the accident in Armadale, West Lothian.
And shopkeepers who tended her wounds while waiting for paramedics said they had feared she might not survive. They wrapped towels around the wound in a desperate attempt to stop the bleeding before she was rushed to hospital.
Ms Lyone was on her way to her weekly appointment at the Hazel Cleland Hair salon in the town’s St Helen’s Place when the accident happened. Salon owner Hazel Cleland said: “It was like something out of a horror movie.
“Helen was due in at 10am and it was about one minute past ten when I saw her coming across the square, so I got up to open the door.
“Then I just heard a really loud noise. I ran out and she was lying on the ground. I went next door to tell them to phone 999 and when she sat up her throat opened right up.”
She said she was scared as she ran back into the salon to get towels.
Jennifer Thomson of next-door Armadale Greengrocers helped Ms Cleland look after Ms Lyons until paramedics arrived.
They used towels to apply pressure to the wound after the shard of glass which pierced her throat had come out.
Ms Thomson said: “I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. As soon as I saw all the blood I put pressure on her neck and kept her calm, warm and sitting upright.
“We kept on changing towels as well. As soon as I took a towel off, blood was spurting out.
“I asked the paramedic if Helen was going to pull through and she said she didn’t think so. She just said that Helen had lost a lot of blood.”
Ms Thomson’s husband Derek said he had complained on previous occasions to West Lothian Council about the uneven slabs in St Helen’s Place, which he claimed were dangerous, but nothing had been done.
He said there were about 200 slabs, shaped like 50p pieces, in the square. He said: “It is very uneven we have complained umpteen times. Some customers have fallen coming into the shop and our kids have done it as well.”
Ms Lyons has been moved out of the high dependency unit, but is still recovering in hospital.
West Lothian Council said it had no record of complaints about the condition of the pathway at the location.