Mum says her 'life has been ruined' after being smashed in the head by a B&Q customer's runaway trolley
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A woman claims her ‘life has been ruined’ after she was hit in the head by a B&Q customer’s runaway trolley, and can’t claim any compensation because the DIY company won’t give up the CCTV footage due to ‘data protection' laws.
Tara Shawbrook, 33, was with her children at the Bamber Bridge B&Q when another customer allegedly lost control of her trolley, which was full of long skirting boards.
She says that trolley hit her on the back of the head and sent her forwards into the metal shelves.
The woman gave an apology, but quickly left the scene, leaving Tara light-headed and dizzy.
Later, she collapsed at home after driving home.
Upon arrival at A&E, she was immobilised, put in a head brace, and given a CT scan that found a gap in the top of her spine.
She spent three days in hospital afterwards, and says that the accident ‘changed her life’. Now, she says that walking properly is a struggle, as is getting dressed.
Tara has been diagnosed with Functional Neurological Disorder, but hasn’t been able to claim any compensation because B&Q won’t give her the footage.
The mum, from Blackburn, said: "This accident has changed my life.
"Every day I suffer but I will have flare-ups that happen randomly and can be affected by things like hormones.
“For the past three weeks I haven't been able to walk properly.
"I struggle with getting dressed on my own and I struggle with extreme confusion.
"When my brain is overloaded, I can't string a sentence together.
"My mum has been cooking for the family for the last three weeks because I haven't been able to.”
Explaining how the accident took place, she continued: "It wasn't the right trolley for the load she had in it and she wasn't using the correct trolley for what she was carrying.
"I watched her on quite a few occasions go past members of staff who didn't bat an eyelid at it.
"I know that B&Q staff health and safety training says that if they see a customer using the wrong equipment, they have to advise them and stop them from using the wrong one.
"She should have been using a flatbed trolley not a standard one.
"She came round the corner of the aisle and lost control of the trolley as she only had the tall skirting board in it so there was no weight to the bottom of the trolley.
"It ricocheted around the corner and whacked me in the back of the head and threw me into the shelving unit."
Following the incident, Tara started experiencing some serious symptoms including ‘vacant episodes’ and seizures, before also losing feeling in her legs.
It took more than a year for her to see a neurological specialist, despite being marked as an ‘urgent case’.
She went private, which is when she received the FND diagnosis.
She explained: "I started to turn yellow like a character out of the Simpsons.
"I was struggling to walk, feed myself, dress myself and it was really frightening for everyone around.
"FND only affects the tasks that you do every day. Tasks that I used to do every day without thinking.
"The brain still functions but instead of it being a hardware problem it's a software problem.
"FND comes from certain things. It can come from past mental trauma but I have been lucky not to experience this.
"They [the neurologist] pointed it to be from physical trauma and the hit of the head by the skirting board.
"Before the accident I was very active.
"Nine years ago, last month I ran the Manchester 10km and I used to love ballet dancing. Now I can't even get to my bathroom on my own.
"Genuinely day to day I try to make light of the situation.
"My family is very supportive and we try to have a laugh and a joke about what this illness makes me do.
"On other days, the pain is so severe I can't mentally or physically cope.
"I'm only relatively young and some days I need my walking stick and sometimes I need my wheelchair.
"I feel a bit of a fraud though because sometimes I won't need to use a stick at all.
"The disease is so complex and it makes me embarrassed as not all the signs are visible."
After the incident occurred, she reported it to B&Q’s store manager, who noted it and made a copy of the CCTV footage, but now she claims it won’t be given to her due to data protection and says she cannot make a compensation claim because of it.
LADbible has contacted B&Q for a comment.