An American tourist has slammed the state of the city’s streets after a trip into a pothole left her practically disabled.
Lisa Kelley stumbled in a pothole on a footpath parallel to Melville Drive, leaving her unable to walk and needing urgent medical attention.
The 60-year-old was rushed to the Royal Infirmary where she was diagnosed with a broken right wrist and left foot.
Further emotional injury also resulted when her sentimental wedding ring of 36 years – holding diamonds belonging to her mother and grandmother – had to be cut off in order to save her finger.
The incident has left the therapist crippled and unable to work, with doctors telling her it will be around a year before she is back to normal.
Lisa told the Evening News: “The shade camouflaged the dark hole and caught me by surprise. I did not expect a pothole on a paved, asphalt walkway. As I fell, I heard my right hand and my left ankle crack. I could not get up and I was writhing in pain.”
Lisa’s wrist and hand were put in a cast while she was given a boot for her broken foot. She later noticed a number of fingers had swollen up and a trip to the hospital the next day resulted in her wedding ring being cut off to allow circulation to the finger.
She said: “It is special, but I could certainly get the ring cut off to avoid losing my finger. I could repair or replace a ring, but I could not replace a finger.”
Lisa and husband Kevin flew back to Colorado where she admits life has been a struggle since the incident on August 22. Things were made even worse for the globetrotter after she sustained a sprained right ankle when struggling with the boot on her broken foot.
She has had surgery on her wrist since her return to the US while she is still awaiting confirmation as to whether an operation is required on her foot. She is now having to attend doctor appointments, physical therapy, and massage appointments five days a week which she says is “overwhelming and exhausting”. Her injuries mean she cannot complete the simplest tasks at home and she has been unable to return to work.
She added: “Walking now is like walking on wooden stumps. It’s a bit depressing to feel like a disabled elderly woman when I am still young, active and vibrant. I was unable to complete an online writing class and I am also not seeing any therapy clients.”
Lisa has reported the pothole to the city council and believes something needs to be done to rectify the alarming state of Edinburgh’s roads and pavements. She said: “Something relatively small like a pothole can do so much damage and impact my lifestyle I had taken for granted. If the council can’t afford to repair the potholes in a timely fashion, they at least need to post warning signs. If they know there is a problem and do nothing to correct it, the city is responsible for the problems created by their negligence.”
Transport and environment convener, Cllr Lesley Macinnes, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to wish Ms Kelley a speedy recovery.
“As soon as this defect was reported, the local roads team undertook an inspection of the path and are arranging the necessary repairs.
“We understand the frustration potholes and other defects cause to pedestrians, cyclists and drivers, and every year we invest millions of pounds to maintain and improve Edinburgh’s roads and pavements.”