Subject: Agoraphobic Grandmother Summons Up Courage to Leave her House
From: Alex Kemp
Date: Wednesday, 22 April 2015 22:07:50 +0100
To: Oliver Kemp, Micaela Kemp, Liisa Kemp, Davin Kemp

Thank goodness that this story about an agoraphobic grandmother isn’t funny.

Grandmother Janet Faal, 57 (right) and the Manhole Cover in Crawley (left) that was her Nemesis

Janet Faal, 57, of Crawley, West Sussex, England has been suffering from Agoraphobia for the last 10 years and, in that time, has been able to leave her home just twice.


Extreme or irrational fear of crowded spaces or enclosed public places.

Recently Janet has been trying to tackle her fears and, on Friday April 10, she called her friend to help her with a little journey out of her home. Immediately, things did not go well.

The were in the forecourt of Complete Tyres Services, Crawley, and Janet was helping her friend reverse out of a car park. A wooden pallet was in the way so (mistake #1) Janet moved it out of the way. She then (mistake #2) took a step over as she turned to her friend to say “is that far enough?”. The pallet was covering a manhole with a broken cover that neither the Tyre Company nor their landlord will accept responsibility for fixing. Janet stepped into the manhole.

Janet fell & twisted (suffering a suspected fracture on her leg) then smashed the pallet with her face, braking her nose. The wooden pallet is unharmed.

The staff at Complete Tyre Services looked after Janet & called the emergency services. An hour later an ambulance turned up.

Janet is left thinking that, perhaps, her Agoraphobia was actually quite a good idea.

Alex Kemp