Woman found face-down after Telstra breakdown

Fay Craigie died on January 30, days after she was found face-down on the floor of her Prosperine property.
Fay Craigie died on January 30, days after she was found face-down on the floor of her Prosperine property. Contributed

WHEN flooding cut Telstra phone lines on the Australia Day long weekend, a "strange feeling" was the only warning Anne-Marie Rankmore had that something was seriously wrong with her mother.

Ms Rankmore is now waiting for answers from the telecommunications company after finding her mother face-down on the floor of her Proserpine home with a useless Telstra phone and a home alert button laying beside her on January 28.

"I spoke to her at lunchtime on the 27th of January and then tried numerous times in the afternoon to get hold of her but I couldn't," Ms Rankmore said. "I had this funny feeling so the next day I drove from Calen to her house with my daughter and we had to break in because no one answered.

"We found her face-down on the floor ... she had pressure sores on her toes and shins, both her hips were black ... she'd actually tried to pull herself up onto the bed because the underlay was all ripped and there was blood everywhere."

Ms Rankmore said she sat with her mum in hospital for three days and watched her health deteriorate before she died on January 30 at 5.10pm.

"When we got there I tried to call Triple 0 and couldn't because my phone is with Telstra. Luckily we'd brought an old Optus phone that I then had to plug in and get working.

"It was chaos ... it was traumatising for me but it was worse for my daughter."

She said the family had installed a home alert button in Ms Craigie's house for "peace of mind" after she contracted a lung infection four months ago.

"Nobody mentioned what happened if Telstra went down ... we weren't ever expecting it," Ms Rankmore said.

"She was a sick lady but she didn't need to die like this ... so undignified and after such a traumatic experience left for at least 12 hours on the floor.

"The doctor said she was really dehydrated ... I know she was sick but I could have had my mum for another five years."

Ms Rankmore said she'd called Telstra twice since the incident. She said a Telstra employee told her a case manager would call her within a week.

"I'll do whatever it takes to make sure this doesn't happen to someone else's mum."

When contacted by the Daily Mercury yesterday a Telstra spokesperson said the company was contacting Ms Rankmore "as a priority".

"Our thoughts and sympathies are with Ms Rankmore and her family and friends at such a sad time," the spokesperson said.

 

We found her face-down on the floor ... she had pressure sores on her toes and shins, both her hips were black ... she'd actually tried to pull herself up onto the bed because the underlay was all ripped and there was blood everywhere.


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