What could have been a tragic end of life to an elderly woman, ended positively, after an observant woman noticed her regular customer was missing.
Doreen Mann, 87, had been stuck in her bath for four days and only stayed alive by topping up the tub with the hot water tap and drinking out of the cold water tap, and a dressing gown to cover her body.
She shouted out for help but nobody heard her, and she doesn’t have any family close by who would drop in to check on her.
Due to her age she simply couldn’t get out of the bath, and she was badly bruised through her failed attempts to drag herself to safety.
Luckily the care and kindness of the waitress at the local café came to her rescue. Waitress Sonia Congrave, 39, called the police after the Doreen didn’t turn up at coffee shop and ice-cream parlour Tomassi’s, in Southend, Essex, where she loves a her weekly treat of a slice of cake.
Pensioner Doreen, from Southend, Essex, said: “I still can’t believe it happened and thank god I survived.
“I do not know how I did it. I mean I just couldn’t get out of the bath and I was there from Friday morning until Monday morning.
“The peculiar thing was I always hang my dressing gown on the boiler door but this time I hung it on the door which is right by the bath.
“Because I did I used that as a make shift cover. That is the only thing I had but thank goodness I had that and the towel.
“At the time I thought ‘I have got to keep calm’, but when I look back I just do not know how I did it,
“I just can’t explain it but something inside me made me do it.
“I am lucky I am sitting here. It was frightening in a sense because I didn’t know how long I would be stuck there.”
Mum-of-two Sonia, said: “She is a really strong woman – all she wanted afterwards was her cake and a cup of tea.
“She is a real character, all the staff and customers talk to her.
Doreen added: “Going to Tomassi’s was the best thing I ever did. I started going in there 13 years ago and the staff there are so kind.
“I do not know what I would do without Sonia and the rest of them because it is my second home, they are my second family.”