At the end of last year my in-laws came and stayed with us for a few weeks. We decided to visit Ireland going to Dublin and then on to Belfast. It was a great trip with dancing, lots of Guinness and lovely scenery. On arrival in Belfast our luck changed and the curse of the Titanic struck again with my mother-in-law Inga breaking her shoulder in two places on the back steps of the Titanic Museum. The day started well we were in a lovely hotel and walked in sunshine to the museum. That did not last long as the weather got worse by the time we arrived at the museum. We also had taken a bus tour in the morning which was mediocre as the hotel had booked us with the wrong bus company. I digress, before we toured the museum we decided to have lunch at their restaurant. I must say they were a bit mean on the servings size and the poor girl serving covertly gave me an extra helping. After lunch we dispersed to souvenir shop while I got the tickets. 15 minutes later our visit changed dramatically. Inga had gone to the back of the museum to take some photos we found out later she had broken her shoulder in two places.
breaking her shoulder in two places
The Museum Staff
They were in my view not that well-trained in first aid. First if Debbie had not been there they would have tried to move her into a wheelchair.You do move someone who falls down steps until you ascertain they have injured their spine or for that matter her head. I understand it was raining and cold and Inga was in a lot of pain but basic first aid teaches you this. I also had to suggest they get some umbrellas and the foil blankets to keep the rain off her and to generate some warmth. They also suggested it was my mother-in-laws fault and that we were not technically on the Titanic Museum land. I think there is a time and a place to discuss these things and not when someone is sprawled and injured at the bottom of some steps in obvious agony. Within quarter of an hour a car arrived for a medic to assess the situation and then another 10 minutes an ambulance arrived after I rang 911 again. After the accident the museum did ring me a couple of times but failed to follow-up. I still do not know if they have now installed handrails on both sides of the stairs at the back of the museum. Overall I would not want to have an accident at the Titanic Museum. Their auditorium is an accident waiting to happen with steep steps which young children and elderly people have to be careful.
The National Health Service (NHS)
One word, brilliant. All the staff from the ambulance drivers, nurses, doctors, radiologists, receptionists were excellent and professional at all times. They saw my mother-in-law quickly and when there was a problem with the morphine with an allergic reaction they kept her in overnight and gave excellent advice on getting her back to Canada. Both my in-laws were confused about not having to pay for anything and even though we explained it several times that no payment was required as it had been an accident. Inga spent overnight at the Royal hospital in Belfast. The next day we spent the day at our hotel who were also brilliant and even lent us a wheelchair.
We stayed at a Holiday Inn in Belfast and the staff were excellent. My review of the hotel is below:
Inga and Joe managed to get back to Canada within a few weeks on the Air Canada flight from hell. The ground staff lied to us about the seats we had ordered and they were given atrocious service throughout the flight. It was only from Calgary to Kelowna that things improved. We did not sue the Titanic Museum although they deserve it in my view. Inga had surgery and now has more metal in her arm than the six million dollar man and she will not be doing the shot put anytime soon.
The Titanic Museum follow-up was weak and they obviously hoped we would just go away which we did but I hope this blog gets shared and people are careful on the back steps of the Titanic Museum on a rainy day. A standard walk up ticket for the museum cost £14.72. If you want to visit the Titanic Museum the link to their website is below: