A WOMAN charity worker was left lying unconscious as rush-hour passengers stepped over her to board a bus.
When she came round, Rosemary Kelly, 24, of Lime Grove, Hoole, was astonished to realise her fellow passengers had ignored her epileptic fit, got on the bus and left her on the floor at Chester's bus exchange .
Miss Kelly was on her way to her job at Blacon charity Sure Start and was waiting at the Chester Bus Exchange for the 9.05am bus to Blacon on Monday, December 1.
She recognised the signs of an impending fit and, when she began to feel unwell, she stepped back to lean against the wall in case she blacked out.
The next thing she remembers is coming round five minutes later, lying on the floor. All the other passengers had got on the bus, which had arrived while she was unconscious, and had apparently paid her no attention at all.
'It's quite unbelievable,' said Miss Kelly. 'When I think about it, it stuns me because I always thought people would stop and help, especially at Christmas.
'It's supposed to be the season of goodwill to all men.
'I was in the space between the two rows of benches where you get on the bus. I can't imagine that the people could have missed me - they would have had to move directly past me.
'Nobody could possibly have walked behind the seats without walking over me.
'I was out for about five minutes. 'I would like to think that somebody would have at least come up to me and stayed with me until they knew that somebody was coming to get me and that I was really OK.'
When Miss Kelly came to, she was disorientated and it took a few minutes to work out what had happened.
'The nature of having a fit is that you get disorientated,' she said. 'I thought 'I just need somebody to help me'.
'I was still lying on the floor and I propped myself up on my arms. I can't move too suddenly in case I hurt myself. I looked to the right, where the people waiting for my bus were, and there was nobody there. I looked down to the other end and there was a row of people waiting for a bus just staring at me, not helping.
'It would have been obvious to the bus driver as well - unless he was very shortsighted. I suppose he would have been dealing with the people on the bus and maybe I wasn't in his line of vision.' A spokesman for Chester City Transport, which runs the 9.05 to Blacon, said: 'I have spoken to the driver and he saw nothing and none of the passengers said anything to him. We have radios to report this sort of thing, but nothing was reported.
'He would have reported it and helped if he had seen anything.'
Miss Kelly said she realises people can be apprehensive in case it is a set-up or someone pulls a knife when they go to help.
She added: 'But if a person was lying on the ground, I would certainly hang around until someone did something.
'I have approached people lying in the street and waited until an ambulance came and it turned out they were drunk and had passed out.'
But this isn't the first time something like this has happened in Chester.
'When I was younger, I was in town with my little sister and she had a fit,' she said. 'I was 14 and she was 10. It was a time when nobody had mobile phones and I was trying to get to a phone box and hold her up so she didn't pass out. I remember asking people to help and nobody would stop. I looked young at the time, probably looked about 10. I was really mad that nobody would help.
'I have lived in London and there they might step over you - they would be more bothered about themselves. In Chester, I have always felt it was the kind of place people would stop and help you.'
Miss Kelly's friends and relatives were appalled.
'My mum was fuming,' she said. 'She was really mad and all my friends were. If people saw someone having a fit they would probably know what was happening. Even if they felt they couldn't approach me, could they not have just gone and got somebody?
'I think if I had been 60 years old, people would have been running to help me. Maybe it's because I'm younger, I don't know. It's quite a shame if that is the reason - you can't tell the problems people have by somebody's appearance.'
Rob Cresswell, information officer at Sure Start, where Miss Kelly works, was surprised this would happen to someone in Chester.
'I would agree with most people that it's very sad,' he said. 'It strikes me that it must be generally out of a fear of getting involved.
'People might think 'I don't understand the situation, so I'm going to ignore it'. She is just a young lady - I can't see how anybody could feel threatened by her.' Dr Tony Good, who works in A&E at Arrowe Park hospital, said epilepsy can be fatal and that someone having a fit does need assistance. At the very least, an ambulance should be called.
He said the patient should be moved to a safe place and into a safe position, where they cannot injure themselves, and laid on their side to prevent choking.