A woman cheated death after a huge stone slab weighing 20kg fell from a castle wall onto her head.
Esther Clyne, 54, was enjoying a friend’s 70th birthday party at Featherstone Castle in Northumberland when she was hit by the stray slab. The mum-of-two thought she’d died when the stone square tumbled over 30ft from a doorway and shattered on her head.
Esther, from Manchester, said she was lucky to be alive, but the near fatal incident has caused long-lasting side effects. And she said four years on he still suffers from bouts of dizziness, memory loss and lack of balance.
Esther, who works in a school and helps run a charity, said: “It felt like a slab fell on my head. My head was just ringing and it was really loud. It was a few minutes before I realised and then the blood started rushing. This slab had slid off and hit me directly on my head. I thought I was dead.
“There was a woman looking directly at me when it happened. She was crying her eyes out. She couldn’t believe I was alive. The ambulance man couldn’t believe I was alive. The injuries that I had. They instantly couldn’t believe how well I was. They said I shouldn’t be here. I'm definitely lucky to be alive.”
Esther said she was at a 70th birthday party for my friend at the time in December 2019.
She added: "It was early hours and I was going to bed. It was such a freaky thing happened. A woman I met that night said a marquee had blown up and smashed a window.
“I was on my way to bed, someone told me to see what happened outside. Reluctantly I went out. My son Leon was beside me and as I stepped out the doorway I thought a bomb had gone off. It felt like I'd been hit by a bus. It was an almighty noise and my whole body shunted down. Luckily I was stood straight."
Esther says the impact has changed her life and worsened her current Myalgic encephalomyelitis symptoms.
She said: “I was left debilitated because of the dizziness and the pain. I spent thousands on professional medical treatments and therapy.
“It left like a deep hole. They stuck glue on my head, I thought I was going to die. I was convinced, I thought I had a brain bleed because of the impacts. I slept sat up for weeks. If I heard a bang I'd be cringing. It gave me ME-like symptoms. Dizzy and fuzzy, my memory was shot completely. My balance went, I was dropping things.
“My osteopath has given me a brace because my neck hurts. He calls me Saint Esther, he said it’s a miracle. That could’ve been my life taken."
Featherstone Castle has been cleared of any blame in relation to the incident after court proceedings.
The castle has been contacted for comment.