Woman dies after metal straw punctures her eye and brain

A 60-YEAR-OLD woman is dead after she tripped while carrying a mason jar drinking glass and a metal straw stabbed through her eye.

Elena Struthers-Gardner, a 60-year-old retired jockey in Dorset, United Kingdom (UK), was carrying the jar – with a metal lid and attached straw – when she fell in her kitchen last November.

The straw, held in place by the lid, punctured through her eye and deep into her brain, causing catastrophic damage.

Detective Inspector Wayne Seymour, who led the investi-gation into Struther-Gardner’s death after Bournemouth police were called to the hospital, told the Dorset Coroner’s court that medical staff “had never seen an injury like that”.

She had suffered multiple fractures in her spine throughout her jockey career and suffered mobility issues as a result.

Elena was rushed to hospital after the fall, but died after her life-support was switched off the next day, following advice from medical staff that it was “unlikely she would survive” the injury.

Metal straws have grown in popularity in recent years, with growing consciousness of plastic waste and a focus on cutting use of single-use plastics. One Australian study over the 2018 Christmas period found that reusable goods such as straws and coffee cups had a sales increase of more than 1,000 per cent compared with the 2017 season.

Assistant coroner Brendan Allen issued a warning about the straws, saying that “great care should be taken” when using them.

“If someone does fall on one and it’s pointed in the wrong direction, serious injury can occur,” he said. – Agencies