A 63-year-old St Michael woman had a close brush with death today when she fell into a well estimated to be over 30 feet deep. Miraculously, she escaped with just a few scratches and bruises.
It was a terrifying experience for Margaret Walters of Pounders Gap, St Michael, coming 24 hours after Anthony “Bird” Walcott perished in a shocking freak accident when the bulldozer he was operating fell over 100 feet to the bottom of Carrington Quarry, St Philip.
“God kept me alive,” the soft-spoken woman told Barbados TODAY, shaking her head in disbelief.
Walters said it was her faith and will to live that kept her fighting after she fell straight into the well behind her home.
Walters who lives alone, explained that she was in her backyard cleaning up the mess created by a fallen banana tree. After completing her task, she noticed a tuft of grass growing from the well and decided to pull it.
To her surprise, the concrete slab covering the well gave way and she fell into the dark, wet hole.
“The whole thing just let go and I went straight down in the water. I start floating, I started kicking and I held onto the pipe leading from the sink. My body was flowing in the water and I tried to jam my back to the wall of the well and I shouted for help,” she told Barbados TODAY as she described her fight for survival.
Though Walters felt she was crying out as loudly as she could, screaming at the top of her voice, her immediate cries fell on deaf ears. But she was a determined woman and refused give up.
“I was shouting for my neighbour. I was calling ‘Kathy, Kathy’ but I couldn’t hear anybody.”
Later she learnt that her pleas for help did indeed reach her neighbour who at the time was speaking to two police officers.
“So then the police came, they couldn’t get in the house at first so I told him to break down the door. The police took two sheets off the bed and tied them together and they told me to take the sheet and form a knot around my hand but I told him I can’t let go because if I let go I going straight down.”
But the police officers who were being assisted by a male neighbour persisted and about half an hour later Walters was lifted to safety from the dark hole and rushed to the Black Rock polyclinic for treatment. Recounting the grim experience, Walter said it was horrific.
“It was scary. I was there for about half an hour. A lot of dirty water went into my mouth. There were a lot of dirty things in the water, but [I] managed to hold onto the pipe. It was God who kept me alive,” the relieved woman said.
Walters was thoroughly checked by medical personnel at the clinic and released. She later returned home counting her blessings.
“The doctor said nothing was broken but she wants me to go to the hospital to get an x-ray to make sure everything is ok.
“I am having pain in my right shoulder and there are a few bruises and scratches on legs and hands.”
Walter is praising her neighbours and especially the two police constables who visited her at the clinic while she was receiving medical attention, for saving her life.
“I am very grateful,” she said. “God kept me alive.”