Sunday, 29 November 2009


I want to take this time to digress briefly from the Madeleine story to tell of a happening just over 4 years ago.
A couple were staying at the Vila Gale Cerro Alagoa Hotel in Albufeira and were almost at the end of their 2 week holiday. In the middle of one night the lady needed to visit the bathroom in the process of which she had an unfortunate accident. Somehow she slipped on the bathroom floor and hit her head on the marble floor. However, she returned to bed and slept until the morning.
In the morning the husband found it difficult to wake her up and when she did awake her speech was garbled and it became obvious that something was wrong. She was able to explain that she had fallen but little else. There was no sign of blood or any wound to the head but nevertheless a Doctor was called. The Doctor was unable to give any firm diagnosis and a Scan of the wife's head was arranged at the Albufeira Radiological unit which was only 5 minutes away.
Immediately on completion of the scan the Radiologist urgently summoned an Ambulance and the lady was rushed at Faro Hospital 30 miles away where a Specialist in head trauma was waiting to meet her. Shortly afterwards an emergency operation was performed to drain a massive haemotoma on the left side of the head and also to repair a fracture in the skull. This was followed by 12 days in the hospital for recovery and observation to ensure that no brain damage had occured.
Fortunately no blood had leaked into the brain and there was no brain damage, and the lady made a normal recovery.
The point of this tale, which is totally true, is to point out that invariably all the floors in Algarvian property are either tiled, marble or some other very hard substance and are generally without carpets.
Now if the person falling from, say the back of a setee or a windowsill, had been a small child, could the consequences have been more serious? We leave you to ponder.
The lady involved is my wife!


Ironside said...

Living in Spain we also have the same problem. Stone floors can be a health hazard. Something or someone that may fall on a floor which has carpet would maybe not be so lethal.I am glad there was a happy ending for you both.

LJC said...

I too have witnessed the distress caused by a fall on a hard floor abroad.

A child fell from a sofa-bed during an afternoon nap, when the parents were present and were able to raise the alarm immedately. They came screaming from their apartment with the child in their arms. The child had to have a head scan in hospital.

The parents told us all about it the next day when he was discharged, appropriately treated by hospital medics.

If they had not been there just imagine, it may have been fatal.

LJC said...

I have always wondered if Madeline fell and bumped her head on the hard floor on the night Mrs Fenn heard her crying. That would account for the blood splatters (accompanying nose bleed) and the fact that crying was heard for 75 minutes.

I wonder if her parents did not get her any medical attention when they should have, and all because they were not present. Were they too afraid of what Madeleine would say at hospital?

I wonder if they treated her themselves with calpol which relieved her suffering and enabled her to carry on with her holiday. After all, children do get over a trauma rather rapdiy, especially when they have things to look forward to.

I wonder if then, on the night of the 3rd May, her head injury worsened. Did they realise she was getting worse? Is that why, on this particular night, they decided to increase their checks of the children. Was it too little too late?