Chesterfield Mum Feared She’d Die After Getting Arm Trapped Under Bed For 13 Hours
In a bid to find her MP3 player, Claire Montello looked under the bed. However, she was left fearing death when it collapsed on top of her arm, trapping her for 13 hours overnight.
As she stretched under it, the 39-year-old’s Ottoman-style bed failed to stay elevated – sending the frame and mattress crashing onto her arm, trapped from the elbow down.
The mum-of-three was stuck in her greatest nightmare: unable to move or reach her phone, with nobody around to free her. ‘I thought I was going to die,’ she said.
Claire, from Grangewood, Chesterfield, didn’t have the strength in her one free arm to lift the bed back up. After constant screaming and shouting, she had to lean on the bed when she became too tired to stand – further squishing her arm under the mechanism.
She was even forced to take drastic measures to stay hydrated – reportedly making herself vomit about 40 times to keep moisture in her mouth ‘as a way to survive’. When her husband Francesco, 61, returned from his night shift, she was finally freed.
Recounting the traumatic experience, Claire said:
I just can’t believe it happened. I thought I was going to die. I had to keep making myself sick to keep the moisture in my mouth as a way to survive. I must have vomited about 40 times. Because the wardrobe was right next to the bed I couldn’t even sit down.
I knew Francesco wouldn’t be back until the morning so I had no choice but to sit on the bed. I couldn’t stand up for that long. I couldn’t sleep through it I was in so much agony. I’m surprised I didn’t pass out of the pain but I was [conscious], and for the whole 13 hours.
The struggle seemed endless for Claire. ‘I was screaming and shouting to get some kind of response, but it doesn’t help that I live next door to a 92-year-old man who’s deaf. I could hear his TV,’ she said.
With all the lights on, there was no chance of her sleeping it off. Also, ‘I had BBC News on loop and it was doing my head in. I was sitting there thinking, oh god, not the sixth time I’ve heard this,’ she said. In a moment of desperation, she had ‘no choice but to go to the toilet there and then’.
Eventually, Claire said her arm was ‘flat as a pancake’, swelling up dramatically before it ‘burst’ after being set free.
She spent two weeks in hospital where she endured four operations, and is waiting to see if she’ll regain the use of her left arm.
Her husband Francesco added:
I just couldn’t believe it when I saw her… I was swearing like anything. I just couldn’t believe it. I lifted up the bed and when she got her arm out it was flat. I’ve never seen an arm go that flat before.
Claire was rushed to Royal Derby Hospital and was kept in for a two-week stay, undergoing four operations. Doctors performed a skin graft using skin from her thigh, as well as having a muscle removed – doctors told her there is a 50:50 chance she will regain movement in her left arm.
She’s been left in ‘absolute agony’, having to do everything with her right arm and unable to basic things on her own. Claire offered her praise to the staff at Royal Derby Hospital, as well as her husband: ‘He’s been absolutely brilliant. I don’t know what I’d do without him.’
As for the bed, Claire said:
When I was in hospital Franco took a sledgehammer to it. There’s no way we’ll be using one of them again. We’ll have to find somewhere else to keep our Christmas decorations. I just want to warn people about buying these kinds of beds. They can be death traps. If it were a kid they’d be locked in there like a coffin.
The never-ending tale of domestic despair has fascinated people online, with people proposing it be made into a film à la 127 Hours.
One user wrote: ‘I genuinely can’t thank you enough for sharing this modern fable.’ Another gobsmacked reader wrote: ‘This does not stop giving from the first word to the last. Absolutely epic.’
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]