Grandmother found frozen on doorstep

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The doorstep where Jeanette was found

By Rory Reynolds

A GRANDMOTHER was fighting for her life in hospital last night after becoming locked out of her home for seven hours in sub-zero temperatures.

Jeanette Wright was discovered “frozen in a ball” by a 17-year-old neighbour after spending the night out in the open as blizzards raged.

Neighbours said the 60-year-old pharmacy assistant from Gorebridge, Midlothian, is thought to have put the wrong key into her own lock by accident after returning from a Christmas party in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The temperature dropped so low that Jeanette’s heart stopped with paramedics battling to save her at the scene.

She was rushed to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary shortly after she was discovered at 9am.

“Really shocked”

Her son John was by her bedside yesterday as she fought to overcome the affects of being exposed to temperatures which forecasters said could have plunged to below minus four degrees in what had been heavy snowfall.

The incident has left the close-knit community shocked and saddened with neighbours and customers describing Jeanette as a well-known and popular figure.

One neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: “Everyone’s really shocked. She works in the chemist down the road and everyone knows her.

“She was found by the girl across the road who is just a teenager and so pretty shaken up after finding her like that.

“The paramedics came, there were two of them as well as the police.

“I didn’t see her lying on the ground, but saw them carrying her on a stretcher and she was curled up.

“I don’t think they had been able to stretch her out – she must have been frozen like a ball.

“It’s really awful to think I was lying in bed that night right next to where they found her. It really makes you think. I haven’t slept since.

“Everyone round here is shocked and saddened. We all hope she’s okay.”

“Didn’t hear a thing”

Staff at the pharmacy where she works said she was a valued colleague.

Caroline Wells, Area Manager for Lloydspharmacy said: “Our thoughts are with our much loved and valued colleague and their family at this difficult time, and we wish them a full and speedy recovery.”

Yesterday a line of blue and white police tape still cordoned off the immediate area outside the pebble dashed semi-detached four in a block home in a quiet side road.

It was thought she was found on steps outside the front door after problems with her keys.

A neighbour said: “I heard that she tried to put the wrong key in the lock. We didn’t hear a thing.”

A spokesman for the Met office said: “I can tell you that on Saturday night into Sunday morning the temperature was as low as minus 4.1 degrees.

“That was for Edinburgh City – the temperature outside of Edinburgh could have been lower.”

Serious but stable

A police spokesman said: “Lothian and Borders Police responded to an address in Jubilee Crescent, Gorebridge, Midlothian after a 60-year-old woman was found unconscious outside the property.

“She was conveyed to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary where she remains in a serious condition.

“There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the incident.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Ambulance Service said: “I can confirm we did attend an address at Jubilee Crescent.

“We took a female patient to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in a serious and potentially life threatening condition.”

Last night NHS Lothian said she was in a serious but stable condition.

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