Woman cheats death after 20kg castle wall falls 30ft and smashes on her head

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Ester Clyne was enjoying a friend's birthday party at Featherstone Castle in Northumberland when she was hit

A woman danced with death after she survived a 20kg slab of castle wall which plummeted 30ft and smashed onto her head.

Esther Clyne was enjoying a friend’s 70th birthday party at Featherstone Castle in Northumberland when she was hit by the stray slab. The mum-of-two thought she’d died when the stone square tumbled from a doorway and shattered on her.

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Ester Clyne was enjoying a friend's birthday party at Featherstone Castle in Northumberland when she was hit - Credit: SWNSEster Clyne was enjoying a friend's birthday party at Featherstone Castle in Northumberland when she was hit - Credit: SWNS
Ester Clyne was enjoying a friend's birthday party at Featherstone Castle in Northumberland when she was hit - Credit: SWNS | SWNS

The 54-year-old, from Manchester, said she was lucky to be alive, but the near fatal incident has caused long lasting side effects. Four years on from the incident, she insists she still suffers from bouts of dizziness, memory loss and lack of balance.

Esther, who works in a school and helps run a charity, said: “It felt like a slab fell on my head. My head was just ringing and it was really loud. It was a few minutes before I realised and then the blood started rushing. This slab had slid off and hit me directly on my head.

“I thought I was dead. There was a woman looking directly at me when it happened. She was crying her eyes out. She couldn’t believe I was alive.

“The ambulance man couldn’t believe I was alive. The injuries that I had. They instantly couldn’t believe how well I was. They said I shouldn’t be here. I'm definitely lucky to be alive.”

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Describing the moment leading to the life-threatening impact, Esther, who said she was at a 70th birthday party for her friend in December 2019, added: "It was early hours and I was going to bed. It was such a freaky thing happened. A woman I met that night said a marquee had blown up and smashed a window. I was on my way to bed, someone told me to see what happened outside. Reluctantly I went out.

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The impact of the incident - Credit: SWNSThe impact of the incident - Credit: SWNS
The impact of the incident - Credit: SWNS | SWNS

"My son Leon was beside me and as I stepped out the doorway I thought a bomb had gone off. It felt like I'd been hit by a bus. It was an almighty noise and my whole body shunted down. Luckily I was stood straight.

“I was left debilitated because of the dizziness and the pain. I spent thousands on professional medical treatments and therapy. It left like a deep hole. They stuck glue on my head, I thought I was going to die. I was convinced, I thought I had a brain bleed because of the impacts. I slept sat up for weeks. If I heard a bang I'd be cringing.

She continued: “It gave me ME-like symptoms. Dizzy and fuzzy, my memory was shot completely. My balance went, I was dropping things. My osteopath has given me a brace because my neck hurts. He calls me Saint Esther, he said it’s a miracle. That could’ve been my life taken."

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Featherstone Castle has been cleared of any blame in relation to the incident after court proceedings were opened against it. National World has reached out to the castle for further comment and are awaiting a response.

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