Tragic golfer died after getting leg trapped in stairlift for 15 hours
A FORMER golf club president died after getting her leg trapped in a stairlift for more than 12 hours.
Mrs Whitehead was the former owner of a dress shop in Harwood and used to hold the position of Lady President at Harwood Golf Club.
The court heard that Mrs Whitehead had gone upstairs using the stairlift — before then deciding to go back down for a cup of tea. However, she was unable to get the machine to move back down the stairs and so attempted to get herself out of the seat.
But she fell down the stairs, getting her leg trapped in the mechanism, the inquest heard.
However, she was not discovered for 12 to 15 hours after which she was taken to hospital for treatment.
The compression of her legs for such a long time caused her to suffer from a rapid breakdown of muscle.
This led to a condition called metabolic acidosis. She died shortly before midnight on June 11.
Pathologist Dr David Bisset told the court: “The problem came from being trapped for many hours with her leg in a position that she couldn’t move and the problems that caused with circulation.”
Speaking at the inquest, Mrs Whitehead’s brother, Peter Jackson said: “Jacqueline and her husband William had both run successful businesses in the past, a butchers and a dress shop in Harwood.
“They enjoyed their life together, travelling and playing golf.”
Mr Jackson added that when William died in 2005 he grew closer to his sister who was suffering from some health problems including rheumatoid arthritis and other mobility issues.
He said: “We became more in contact than we had been before and because she was unsteady on her feet she was a bit more dependent on me at times.”
Alan Walsh, deputy coroner for Bolton, said: “The stairlift appeared to be working as it took Mrs Whitehead up the stairs just before she fell.
“There had been an inspection of the machine in February and between then and the day of the incident the company had received no reports of malfunctioning.”
He recorded a verdict of death as a result of an accident.
He said: “I am enormously sad that Jacqueline died in these circumstances in what was a horrendous experience being trapped for between 12 and 15 hours.
“She was a strong, resilient, independent lady and I am very sorry for the family that she should die like that.”
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