British woman seeking compensation after accident at luxury Abu Dhabi hotel

Ruth Doherty
British woman in coma five times after plank of wood hit her head at luxury Abu Dhabi hotel
British woman in coma five times after plank of wood hit her head at luxury Abu Dhabi hotel

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A British woman who was hit on the head by a loose piece of wood from a wardrobe at a luxury Abu Dhabi hotel is still suffering the consequences four years on.

Natalie Creane, 33, was knocked unconscious when the loose panel fell from her wardrobe and hit her on the forehead just minutes after arriving at the hotel.

Ms Creane had checked into the luxury Emirates Palace hotel with her then fiancé Trevor who had just proposed.

According to the Daily Mail, the accident left her in a coma five times, and she now suffers with a serious form of epilepsy, causing her to have violent seizures and collapses.

Medics have now warned that another large seizure could even take her life.

Natalie's family are now locked in a legal battle with the hotel who, they say, should take liability for the accident and pay compensation.

British woman in coma five times after plank of wood hit her head at luxury Abu Dhabi hotel
British woman in coma five times after plank of wood hit her head at luxury Abu Dhabi hotel

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The human resource director's parents, Derek and Angie Smith, from Essex, say they are facing financial ruin over the legal costs, which have been running since 2010.

Natalie and Trevor, who are now married, had moved to the UAE to start a new life, and had booked a weekend at the hotel to celebrate their engagement.

She has been treated in a Dubai hospital 40 times since the incident happened.

Mr Creane told the Daily Mail: "We are all terrified for Natalie. She is in such a state and has been through so much.

"She will need rehabilitation, treatment, potentially surgery, and we don't know if it will work or what the future holds.

"The doctors have warned us that she may not survive another large seizure."

Natalie's mother said it was "heart-rending" to see what had happened to her daughter.

Angie told the Huffington Post UK that it had been "four years of sheer hell" and that her daughter had lost the ability to go to work, bathe herself, or even see.

"Although she's 33 she's still my youngest child. It's heart-rending, it's just terrible. I've lost count of the number of times we've gone to Dubai now.

"We've all kept quiet for four years but we're desperate. She deteriorated so much we had to go public with the news."

British woman in coma five times after plank of wood hit her head at luxury Abu Dhabi hotel
British woman in coma five times after plank of wood hit her head at luxury Abu Dhabi hotel

Emirates Palace


A Facebook page called 'Justice For Natalie' has been set up and an online petition has attracted thousands of signatures.

Emirates Palace, a member of the Kempinski chain, told UAE newspaper The National that any accident would have happened because the guest had tampered with the wardrobe.

A statement read: "The claim presented was a figment of the claimant's imagination as we have presented to the court photographic evidence of the wardrobe and the wooden panel that has allegedly fallen on her head.

And, referring to pictures of Mrs Creane's wedding on Facebook a year after the incident happened, it added: "The claimant also stated that her life has been completely altered by the incident. However, we have presented evidence showing that she has continued with her lifestyle as normal."

The family are now hoping a Dubai court will find in their favour this week.

Mum Angie said her daughter needs specialist help, telling the Huffington Post UK: "The company needs to accept responsibility and give her the justice and treatment she deserves."

Husband Trevor told Gulf News: "As matters stand, Natalie needs urgent specialist neurological help. She will likely need full-time care for the rest of her life as well as extensive medical support, but we really just want to see her return to a normal, healthy life. We are seeking restitution to enable us to access the best medical care."

He added: "An inordinate amount of money has been spent on hospital treatment, care where we could access it and flights for her parents (from the UK). The injury has brought the family to near financial ruin."

A spokesperson for the hotel told Gulf News: "This matter is the subject of an ongoing lawsuit currently in the UAE court system, therefore, we cannot publicly comment on this case or discuss it with any third parties."

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