Elderly woman survives 22 hours in bathtub

Dec. 14, 2010 at 3:54 PM
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SALT LAKE CITY, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- A 99-year-old Salt Lake City woman said she survived being stuck in her bathtub for 22 hours by praying, trying mental telepathy and reciting poetry.

A member of Evelyn Vernon's family said the woman, who fell in her walk-in bathtub and was wedged into a 20-inch square space in the tub, will be discharged from the hospital where she has stayed off-and-on since the Nov. 28 incident, the Salt Lake Tribune reported Monday.

"If I hadn't known lots of beautiful poetry, I couldn't have made it," Vernon said.

Vernon told her grandson she forgot to keep her medical alert device with her and that she filled the tub with too-hot water.

Vernon was discovered by family members who went to her condo after they couldn't reach her by phone. They found her twisted into a sort of reverse jackknife, with torn skin and injured neck from her struggle, her daughter, Bonnie Lloyd, said.

Lloyd said the walk-in bath manufacturer's representatives said they had heard before from its bathtub users about becoming stuck behind the tub's door, which only opens inward.

Salt Lake County's outreach program does assessments to determine whether seniors need services such as Meals on Wheels. Recently, program officials have also begun checking homes for safety, and prevention tools include emergency response buttons that alert family and friends or police to in-home incidents, said Peter Hebertson, outreach director for Salt Lake County Aging Services.

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