Explosion grandma has no memory of horror holiday

PUBLISHED: 12:30 18 November 2010




A GRANDMOTHER critically injured in an explosion at a Spanish resort says she is delighted to be back at home with her family in Weston.

Carol Gardener, discharged from hospital following gas pipe explosiion in spain returns home, picture with her husband Peter. 7 Kilve, Dunster Crescent, Weston.

Carol Gardener, aged 53, suffered a broken skull and severe burns when a steam pipe exploded next to her while walking to the beach in the resort of Marbella.

The Dunster Crescent resident underwent weeks of treatment at an intensive care unit before being flown back to Britain to recover at Weston General Hospital.

Last Wednesday, after 12 weeks of hospital care, Mrs Gardener was finally discharged and reunited with her family and friends back at her terraced house.

Speaking to the Mercury, she said: “Returning home to see my husband, children and grandchild was the best feeling ever.

“I was just desperate to get back to them all and leave the hospital wards where I had been staying for weeks.

“I said to nurses ‘nothing you are doing for me now cannot be done at my house, let me home’, and they did.”

Despite the horrific incident on August 24, Carol cannot remember a thing about it, or the whole family holiday.

The Dairycrest employee had gone to Malaga with her husband Peter and two children Darren and Tanya.

She said: “The first thing I knew about it was when I woke up on the way to Weston General Hospital and people tried to explain what had happened.

“It was all really confusing because at first I could not even remember my children’s ages or how long I had been married, let alone the Spanish holiday.

“However, over time my memory has come back but I still can’t remember the holiday, although I’m not sure I really want to.”

Still being attended to by hospital doctors three times a week and receiving treatment to her cuts and burns, Mrs Gardener struggles to move about.

A trip out for Remembrance Sunday in a wheelchair is her biggest outing so far, although she’s not too disappointed, accepting she is lucky to be alive.

This week she managed to get in contact with a couple from Ipswich and a man from London who helped stop her bleeding and assist her getting to hospital.

She said: “I’ve no doubt these people and my family saved my life, so I felt I had to thank them for what they had done.

“I think they were just pleased to hear I was still alive and well.”

The family has now enlisted the help of solicitors to investigate the possibility of compensation following the impact of the explosion, which damaged a 30ft stretch of the wall.

Mrs Gardener has been told she can still work at Dairycrest, but husband Pete, aged 56, has stopped his job as a builder to become her carer.

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