A woman has been left with serious injuries after being involved in an accident on a waterslide at Woburn Forest Center Parcs, Bedfordshire.
Anne Jennings, 67, sustained a laceration to the back of her head, a soft tissue injury to her neck, left ankle, back, chest and right thigh, as well as post-concussive symptoms and psychiatric injuries after she fell from the Tornado water slide at the Sub Tropical Swimming Paradise at the park.
Mrs Jennings was enjoying a family holiday at Center Parcs when she decided to go on the Tornado slide with her husband and two other family members.
The slide is a flume tunnel slide with a sheer drop into an enclosed cavern and has an inflatable raft which is designed for four people to experience the ride together.
As Mrs Jennings and her family entered the cavern area, the raft was propelled up the opposite side of the cavern due to the speed they had come down the slide.
During this, she struck the top of her head on the slide, causing her to fall out of the raft and into the water.
One of Mrs Jennings’ family members, who is a trained life guard, entered the water and brought her out.
Center Parcs lifeguards saw what was happening and they helped to put Mrs Jennings onto a stretcher.
She was then taken by ambulance to Bedford Hospital for treatment for her injuries.
As a result, Mrs Jennings has experienced ongoing symptoms due to her head injury, including headaches, nausea, dizziness, tiredness, memory loss and confusion with speech, as well as ongoing pain and discomfort in her neck and left ankle.
This is the second incident to have been reported on the slide in the last 18 months, with another visitor to the park sustaining injury which was captured on a GoPro video camera by another rider.
Mrs Jennings said: “I was enjoying a lovely family holiday at Center Parcs when the accident happened. The ride looked like lots of fun and it didn’t cross my mind that it could be dangerous at all for me to go on the slide.
“There were no signs to warn of the nature of the slide, and none of the attendants warned us to the speed we would experience. No protection whatsoever was offered to us as we got onto the slide.
“I remember entering the cavern area of the slide, and then coming to whilst under the water and then being taken to the hospital. “The NHS and in particular A&E are under great strain at the moment without unnecessary burdens being placed upon them.
“I was taken by an ambulance, which required cleaning after my sickness, I had a CT scan to check for brain and spinal damage.
“The scan revealed a sub-cutaneous haematoma which was evacuated by a Consultant who then closed the wound with seven staples. ”
Mrs Jennings added: “The accident left me with lots of ongoing problems; I suffered from lots of headaches and dizziness, and also trouble searching for the right words to say sometimes. Because of these symptoms, I sought specialist treatment privately to ensure I made the best recovery possible.
“I want answers as to why this was allowed to happen, especially after someone else had already been injured on the slide.”
Remarkably, Mrs Jennings has made a great recovery, thanks to receiving early treatment for her symptoms.
She is now pursuing a personal injury claim with the help of CFG Law (part of the client first group) to compensate her for the pain and suffering she has experienced as a result the accident.
Sabrina McCarron of CFG Law said: “This was a traumatic event for Mrs Jennings on a day out with her family.
“Questions have been raised in relation to the risk assessments undertaken by Centre Parcs in relation to the Tornado water slide especially as this was the second serious injury within a matter of months.
“Mrs Jennings suffered a post -concussion head injury and psychological injury, however I am pleased she is making a good recovery following treatment. “
Mrs Jennings has said that if she receives compensation for her accident, she would like to donate some of the money she receives to Bedford Hospital as a thank you for the excellent care and attention she received from the staff there after her accident.
Center Parcs have accepted liability for the accident.
A spokesperson from Center Parcs, said: “We have a very good safety record but any injury is a matter we take seriously. “This is an unfortunate incident and we have conducted our own investigations and are committed to take any action to prevent a similar incident happening in the future.
“We are sorry for the upset caused to Mrs Jennings and her family and hope that she makes a full recovery soon.”