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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Pothole fall left me in wheelchair claims Cumbrian gran

A grandmother has revealed how she was left in a wheelchair and suffers near-constant pain after becoming a casualty of pothole-littered roads.

Jennifer Walker photo
Jennifer Walker

Jennifer Walker, 68, fell into a pothole hole and badly twisted her knee while walking from her home to her granddaughter’s in Great Corby, near Carlisle.

Because there are no pavements along the stretch of road, she was forced to walk on the road, leading to her fall, which was the start of an ordeal which has so far lasted two years.

She initially spent four weeks in agony until her knee gave way, prompting a series of medical appointments by which time she was forced to use a wheelchair to get around.

After having a host of x-rays and MRI scans, it was determined that her pothole incident had left her with four tears in her cartilage.

With nearly six months to wait for an NHS operation and being in excruciating pain, she decided to go private and have the procedure completed within two weeks. But Mrs Walker says the fall has turned her life upside down.

She told the News & Star: “Three years ago I went on a walking holiday to Majorca, now I can barely walk to the Co-op and back. It is what I enjoyed and now I can’t do it. I used to play outdoor bowls and I can’t do that either.

“I can’t stand needles yet I have to have steroids injected in my knee. This is extremely painful.

“We always hear about cars and potholes, but cars don’t feel pain. You miss out on life. I can’t go on the holidays I used to. Everything is now hard work and there is the fear of it happening again.

“I said I would go private because I was in so much pain.”

It was announced last week that Cumbria will receive just over £3m of extra government funding to help repair its pothole-littered roads. The county council had already pledged £10m to help sort out some of the areas 400,000 potholes.

Mrs Walker has urged the authorities to take immediate action to resolve the problems.

“I’m really mad this has all happened. It is the frustration of suffering this injury needlessly. If the authorities had just looked after the road properly this wouldn’t have happened.

“There are still a lot of potholes in the village and instead of waiting for people to fall in them, they should be more proactive,” she added.

However, for Mrs Walker, the ordeal is not over.

With significant damage caused, she has been told by doctors that she is likely to need a complete replacement.

After reporting the problem pothole the day after her injury, it was repaired just a few days later.

Her county councillor for the Corby and Hayton ward, Bill Graham, said this incident highlights the need for action on potholes.

He said: “Pothole incidents need to be taken seriously. The quicker people can report them, the quicker they can be fixed.”

Potholes can be reported at 0845 609 6609.

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