Grandmother dies after tragic stair fall

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Hardworking paramedics were sadly unable to save the life of a 59-year-old woman who fell down stairs at her daughter’s home.

An air ambulance landed in a field near Bretch Hill on Friday, allowing paramedics to attend a property in Dover Avenue at about noon.

Grandmother Barbara Kowalczyk had been found at the house by her husband Boleclawiec Kowalczyk. She was suffering from life threating head injuries. The Polish couple were visiting their daughter and son-in-law.

An ambulance had been called to the property shortly after 11am but on assessing the casualty paramedics called for assistance from the Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance, which put down in a field at Withycombe Farm.

Mrs Kowalczyk was conveyed to Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital.

Mrs Kowalczyk’s daughter confirmed her mother and father had been staying with the couple in Banbury on and off for ten months to help the couple look after their two children while they worked.

She said her mother had been suffering from a long-term health condition and had been taking a lot of medication, though the couple said they did not know what caused the fall.

Mr Kowalczyk had briefly gone across the road to the shops and on his return found Mrs Kowalczyk behind the front door.

As he does not speak much English, Mr Kowalczyk alerted a neighbour who called the ambulance service.

Oxfordshire County Council’s coroner’s service is conducting an autopsy and will open an inquest into the circumstances of Mrs Kowalczyk’s death in due course.

Her funeral will take place in Poland at an as yet undecided date.

One resident described the scene as a “terrible tragedy” which had occurred “on the normally quiet and tranquil Dover Avenue”. He praised the “strenuous efforts made by the highly professional local emergency medical services”.




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