Edna, 92, from Cromer, full of praise for compassion shown on her nightmare ‘Black Friday’

Edna Ambler and George Goram. Picture: ALEX HURRELL

Edna Ambler and George Goram. Picture: ALEX HURRELL - Credit: Archant

It was dubbed Black-Eye Friday because a spike in boozy Christmas party mishaps was predicted to put the UK's A&E departments under severe strain.

And before 92-year-old Edna Ambler left her Cromer home to go shopping that day, December 16, she remembers hearing dire warnings about it on the radio.

'I thought: 'I'm glad I won't be going anywhere near a hospital,'' remembered Mrs Ambler, who is registered blind and uses a white stick when walking.

Little did she know that she would be on her way there in an ambulance shortly afterwards, sporting a huge black eye and several other nasty bruises.

Mrs Ambler, of Vicarage Road, missed a step up on to the curb while in Cromer town centre and fell flat on her face.

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She is full of praise and gratitude for all those who rushed to her aid.

'One person even sat on the pavement behind me so that I could lean back against her - someone else proved a black cushion which I still have,' she said.

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The ambulance crew had even stopped off en route for the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital to drop off her shopping, put her meat in the fridge and collect her medication.

'When I got to the hospital Black Friday was living up to its name with patients packing the waiting areas and corridors,' she added.

'How the nursing staff and doctors provided such excellent care amid what seemed like chaos amazed me — they seemed to take the added complication of my blindness in their stride.

'Their liaison with my son and my neighbour, who eventually was able to come and collect me, also demonstrated their care and professionalism under extremely difficult circumstances.

'Although still bloodied and bruised, I was very glad to be back home and send my heartfelt thanks to everyone concerned.'

Mrs Ambler, who did not lose her sight until a few years ago, had taught cookery to blind people in her earlier years.

She is still able to live independently and managed, despite her injuries, to cook a cake and sausage rolls for this week's Norfolk and Norwich Association of the Blind's (NNAB) Christmas coffee morning in Cromer.

And she has already been booked by fellow NNAB member George Goram to bake a cake for his 100th birthday in October next year.

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