A mother and daughter’s pre-Christmas shopping trip turned to terror when they were trapped in a lift for an hour-and-a-half.
To make matters worse Yvonne Lynas, who is recovering from a brain aneurysm, is confined to a wheelchair while asthma-sufferer Debbie McIlvaney was struggling for breath for most of their ordeal in Stirling’s Thistles shopping centre.
Yvonne (56), still recovering from the November 18 lift nightmare at her Wallacestone home, told The Falkirk Herald she had received no word from shopping centre officials about how the lift became stuck and why it took so long for the doors to be opened.
She said: “It had been two years since I had been out the door and was just looking to get a Christmas present for my husband when this happened.”
Formerly the personal assistant to former Falkirk Council Provost John Constable, Yvonne is lucky to be alive after being struck by a subarachnoid haemorrhage six years ago.
Her condition left her with chronic fatigue and she is now reliant on a wheelchair.
On the day of the incident she and her daughter arrived in Stirling just after 9 a.m. and picked up a wheelchair from the centre’s Shopmobility facility.
“We went into the lift and the doors closed behind us but it never went anywhere,” said Yvonne.
“I can’t understand why they never put an ‘out of order’ sign on it if it wasn’t working.”
When they realised they were stuck, Debbie pushed the emergency button, but, as far as they could tell, nothing happened.
Thankfully, she had her mobile phone with her and was able to get enough reception to phone the emergency number listed on the sign in the lift.
The engineer finally arrived and the doors were opened 90 minutes after they trapped Yvonne and Debbie.
“You would think they would respond a little quicker,” said Yvonne. “Especially when Debbie told them she was having an asthma attack and her mum was in a wheelchair and starting to feel sick.”
Debbie (29) added: “My asthma was bad and I started to panic - I used my inhalers a few times.
“They did apologise for what happened when we got out and the woman told us this had never happened before.”
According to the Thistles, Yvonne and Debbie were trapped for an hour and their predicament was given top priority.
A spokesperson said: “A full investigation has confirmed the procedures and obligations to customers the centre has in place are more than adequate.
“The wellbeing of the customers during their time in the lift was given the utmost priority.
“Following their release complimentary hot drinks and food was provided and a member of the team escorted them in the lifts to and from the shops.
“We look forward to welcoming them back to the centre.”