Agoraphobic Woman Falls In Manhole After Going Outside To Conquer Fears

An agoraphobic grandmother says that she may never go outside again after her last attempt left her with a broken leg and (in her mind) a legitimate reason to stay indoors. Janet Faal reportedly left her home for the third time in a decade as part of the 57-year-old woman’s therapy to treat her phobia and face her fears. Gawker reports that the woman suffered two black eyes and a broken leg, on top of at least an hour of fear and agony, after she fell into a manhole that she unwittingly opened.

The Daily Mail reports that the agoraphobic woman was with her friend while out on a drive in Crawley, West Sussex. During their drive, they stumbled upon a wooden pallet that was in the car’s way. It was then that Janet took it upon herself to remove the pallet that things took a ironically tragic turn. She kicked the pallet over with her foot, but was not looking at it while asking her friend if it was out of the way well enough for her to back her car out of the parking area.

When she had intended to spin around, she did not notice that the pallet was actually covering up a manhole. To her shock, she fell right in by one leg (the one that stepped right into the hole) and she smashed her face down on the pallet, landing in the manhole covered in blood. She busted her leg and injured herself tremendously, but she is incredibly lucky to survive something that has killed many people. She told the Daily Mail that she had no idea that the manhole was there.

“I took a step over — never in my life did I think there was a hole underneath, I thought it had just fallen over. The next thing I remember is the pain. It was awful. I fell and smashed my face on the pallet, and I was in the hole with blood all over me and I couldn’t move.”

Now she is afraid that her agoraphobia may get worse, since she was so badly injured on her third outing in a decade. She was left in the manhole for at least an hour while waiting for paramedics to rescue her, which probably only made things worse. Still, she’s very fortunate to be alive, even if it does mean she might stay indoors for another decade.

[Photo: the Louisiana Record]