Hotel Marina Barracuda, Magaluf
The British holidaymaker who survived an 80ft fall from the balcony of her Majorca hotel has explained how the accident happened.
In an exclusive interview with The Mirror, Chantelle Serginson, 24, explained how she became the fourth British tourist to fall from her hotel balcony in the resort of Magaluf in just six weeks - but the only one to survive.
Chantelle fell six floors onto concrete on the second day of her family holiday, and suffered two brain haemorrhages, a collapsed lung, a broken jaw, multiple fractures to both legs and lost several teeth when she hit the ground at 50mph.
Chantelle says that reports that the accident happened after she had a row with her mother, or that she was trying to throw a spider out of her bag when she fell, were untrue.
Instead, she said that she was trying to reach for a lost necklace when she lost her footing.
She told The Mirror: "My necklace must have slipped off as I looked out over the balcony. I saw it had got caught on a piece of metal jutting out so I tried to reach for it.
"Then I lost my balance and went over but grabbed on to a metal bar and was swinging in mid-air holding on as best I could.
"I felt sheer panic as I could feel the strength ebbing away from my arms. I must have been dangling about 30 seconds and I was screaming but because the music was blaring around the pool I think no one could hear me.
"I've never felt such terror. My stomach felt as if it was hang down round my ankles. I knew I was in a life-or-death situation but in the few seconds I was hanging on I knew I had to try to think straight if I was going to survive."
Chantelle tried to swing on to a balcony below, but misjudged the move.
She said: "It wasn't too far away and I tried to drop to it by swinging my legs - but I timed it wrong and let go and I swung out instead of in.
"I was willing myself to land on my feet. I thought if I could do that I had a chance. I blacked out as I started to fall. When I opened my eyes again I was lying on the ground with people around me and my mum looking down and saying, 'You're OK love'.
"Seeing her must have put me at ease. I slipped into unconsciousness again. The next thing I knew was when I came round in intensive care screaming for water and a McDonald's."
Chantelle is hoping to return to Middlesborough next week, but says her insurance company is refusing to help get her home because she had been drinking and possibly taking drugs before her fall - a claim she denies.
She said: "It makes me really angry that people are jumping to conclusions and thinking that I must have been drunk. It was an all-inclusive hotel and the drinks were free but I'd only had two Tia Marias with cola. And I've never taken drugs in my life."
She adds: "It's starting to sink in just how lucky I've been, but I don't think it will hit me fully until I'm back home. I've cried so many times."
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