Nurse’s strangle ordeal

Wrightington Hospital main entrance and reception
Wrightington Hospital main entrance and reception

A TERRIFIED Chorley nurse collapsed to the floor gasping for breath after allegedly being ‘strangled’ by a patient using a mobile phone charger.

Grandmother Doreen Hornsey said she is scared to return to work at Wrightington Hospital after the frightening ordeal which left her shaken and with lacerations to her neck, cuts, bruises and a black eye.

The 61-year-old has dedicated more than 40 years of her life to the profession and said she has never experienced anything as terrifying in her life.

“I thought I was going to die,” she said. “I have been kicked and scratched in the past and had my fingers pulled, but nothing like this has ever happened.

“I don’t know how I wasn’t killed.”

Doreen described how the police had been called to the hospital on her evening shift after a patient smashed a window and threatened staff with the glass.

She added: “We had told him he couldn’t smoke, but he was smoking under his bed sheets and a nurse tackled him about it.

“She tried to take his lighter off him, but he climbed on to the window sill and he smashed the glass.

“He tried to climb through it and we were frightened for his safety.

“We managed to move all of the other patients out of the way as they were vulnerable and recovering from operations.”

Doreen said eight nurses, a doctor, a security guard and two police officers were called in to try to talk the man down.

“He had a piece of glass that he was threatening us with if we went anywhere near,” she added.

“We managed to contact his son who came and talked him down and he was put in a side room.

“The police officers wanted to take a statement from one of the nurses and the man’s son and a male nurse was asked to sit with the patient.

“As soon as he went in, the patient jumped up from his bed and wouldn’t do what he was told so
the nurse pressed the buzzer for help.

“I went straight in and he hit me with the flat of his hand and pushed me away.

“As I turned to shout for help he got the cord from his phone charger and wrapped it twice around my neck.

“He was pulling on it and I immediately put my hands to my throat.

“I couldn’t breathe and I was desperately trying to get my fingers down under the cord, but I couldn’t.

“I could just feel myself falling to the floor.”

Doreen said that a third nurse came in to the room and it took two members of staff to fight the patient off.

“It was awful. I was desperately trying to breathe, but I couldn’t fight back.

“He had managed to rip my earring out somehow and he had grazed my face and given me a black eye.

“In all my time as a nurse I had never experienced anything like it – it was terrifying.

“It’s left me frightened to go back.”

Doreen has worked at the hospital, which is a centre of excellence for orthopaedic surgery, for more than three decades and said she always wanted to be a nurse.

“I honestly thought my number was up - I thought I was going to die,” she said.

“I couldn’t catch my breath and I’m just glad my colleagues managed to fight him off.

“I had to be taken to Wigan Infirmary and the staff were shocked at what had happened.

“I’ve still got a black eye and bruises now. It’s terrible.”

Police are investigating the incident and have taken photographs of Doreen’s injuries for evidence.

They have arrested a 59-year-old man.