Pensioner's face 'grated like cheese'

ANNA TURNER
Last updated 14:57 12/11/2012
isabelle tucker std
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INJURED: Isabella Tucker.
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LIFTED: The manhole cover on Claremont Ave in Papanui.

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When Isabella Tucker was taken to hospital on Friday, she looked like she had been the victim of a vicious assault.

The 87-year-old had two black eyes, lacerations to her head, a broken nose, a broken finger and a fractured cheekbone.

However, it was Christchurch's broken footpaths which had inflicted the injuries on Tucker.

Nicola Tucker was walking with her elderly mother on Claremont Ave in Papanui on Friday night when the accident happened.

"We were on our usual walk when we decided to go a different way ... Mum tripped and fell on this huge grate and went sliding across it," Tucker said.

"It grated her face like a cheese grater".

Her mother had tripped on a Telecom manhole cover, which had risen from the footpath, possibly as a result of earthquakes.

Her mother was left bleeding on the ground for 30 minutes before an ambulance arrived and took her to Christchurch Hospital.

"She was in a lot of pain and people stopped to ask if they could help but we just had to wait."

Tucker was discharged from hospital on Friday night and was now recovering at home. She was sore and disorientated.

"It's knocked her around very badly," Tucker said.

"She's 87, but it's basically turned her into a 90 year old."

Her other daughter, Julie Paynter, was angry that the grate had been left in such a state and said she had heard of another incident where a woman broke her arm falling in the same spot.

"It's really dangerous. It's just been left like that with no warning. There's a kindergarten and a school around there as well as lots of elderly people around."

Telecom had agreed to examine it today, Paynter said.

Tucker wished to thank all the people that had stopped to help her mother.

"They were all very kind".

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