Woman of 74 falls on moss
PENSIONER Diana Woodhouse has been told she may never walk her dog again after she slipped and fell on a mossy footpath in Blunsdon last week.
The 74-year-old was walking her dog with husband Nicholas Woodhouse, 71, near the Sams Lane and High Street junction last Thursday when the neglected surface caused her to lose balance.
Diana, above, was taken to Great Western Hospital by ambulance after Nicholas made an emergency call.
Staff found she had broken her femur as a result of the fall.
She was in theatre for five hours on Valentine’s Day as surgeons fought to repair her leg and fitted her with a steel rod from the hip to her knee.
While Diana continues to recover in hospital, husband Nicholas has been looking for answers as to how this came to happen and why the footpath had been allowed to become so overrun by moss.
He is also trying to come to terms with the fact his wife and companion may never share a dog walk with him again.
The former newsagent, of Churchill Avenue in Blunsdon, said: “We had the dog with us and we were trying to get a walk in between showers.
“I was walking behind her when she fell on to her left side. She immediately cried out with pain.
“I saw a surgeon after her operation and he told me it was a very serious procedure and he was doubtful she would be able to do the things she was doing before.
“I can’t come to terms with it. It’s really shocking.
“I blame Swindon Council. That path was an accident waiting to happen. Many residents around here say it’s dangerous to walk on.
“Some of them won’t even walk around there.”
Nicholas said the ground had been wet at the time from the rain, but remains adamant the depth of moss present on the footpath is beyond acceptable.
The chairman of Blunsdon Parish Council, Ian Jankinson, himself walked up the same footpath on Saturday and felt the path did not present an immediate hazard to residents.
However he did encourage Swindon Council to take note and assess the footpath as soon as possible.
He said: “We have a part-time groundsman who walks around the village and makes us aware of any hazards which need addressing by the borough council.
“Normally, whenever there are any overhanging bushes or problems with highways the borough council are very good at dealing with them quickly.
“This particular path is mossy, but most paths are mossy at this time of the year, especially with the terrible weather we’ve been having.
“If you are frail that path might be a problem but we walked up it quite easily.
“Not immediately, but we would ask for the council to have a look at it.”
A Swindon Council spokesman said: “All the pavements in our several thousand kilometre network are inspected either once a year or twice a year, depending on their type and location.
“The pavement in question was last inspected in November. No defects relating to moss were noted, and we have no record of any complaint about its condition being made to us.”