Mum left in coma after attack near Lancaster home speaks exclusively of her ordeal

A Lancaster mum on the long road to recovery after a brutal attack is on a mission to keep others safe.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Thursday, 5th May 2022, 12:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 5th May 2022, 1:16 pm

Tina Henderson spent five weeks in a coma in Royal Preston Hospital after the attack near her home in Windholme, Scale Hall, in February.

Just weeks later a woman in her 70s was seriously injured after being ambushed on the cycle path just yards from where Tina was attacked.

A 32-year-old man is due to answer bail this week in connection with this offence – but police have drawn no leads as to what might have been the cause of Tina’s assault.

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Tina Henderson pictured before the attack with her son Tyler-Jay.

Tina has contacted Lancaster MP Cat Smith as well as Asda and the housing association which owns her flat, asking for support with lighting and CCTV in the area.

The mum – who will be 53 on May 17 – is now housebound and needs constant care, walking with a support aid and taking dozens of tablets every day to help with the pain.

While in an induced coma she underwent surgery to remove part of her skull due to a build-up of pressure on her brain, as well as part which was fractured.

When she finally awoke, Tina had to be told what had happened to her, and she said she still cannot remember anything of the incident.

Tina Henderson underwent surgery to remove part of her skull.

“I remember I needed to go to Asda,” she said. “It was just starting to get a bit dark.

“I cut through from the cycle path and I can remember seeing a group of teenagers on the path.

"The next thing I know is waking up in hospital. They told me I’d had brain surgery, and I had to feel my head and look in a mirror to see my shaved head.

“They told me I had been attacked but I was just thinking they were making it all up and it wasn’t me. I was so confused.”

Tina has to wear a protective helmet.

Tina was told that a neighbour had found her on the ground on the pavement, her head covered in blood, and called the emergency services.

"The paramedics said if he hadn’t come out of his flat at that point and spotted me, I probably wouldn’t be here now,” she said.

"It was really emotional when I saw him again when I came home.”

Tina was finally allowed home two months after the attack.

Windholme on Scale Hall in Lancaster. Photo: Google Street View

However, she must undergo further surgery to have a metal plate fitted in her skull, as well as an operation on spinal damage.

In the meantime she must wear a protective helmet to prevent further head trauma.

She also has to have occupational and speech therapy, and has learned to swallow food and drink again.

Tina said although she has no memory of the attack, she still hopes every day that something will return that might help the police with their investigations.

"I go to bed every night wondering if I might remember something, and when I wake up it's the same,” she said.

“People shouldn’t be too scared to walk along the path. I don’t want this to happen to anyone else, and if I can help keep other people safe then I will do what I can.

"There has to be some good to come out of what happened to me.”

Tina said the attack has made her consider moving to live closer to her son Tyler-Jay in the north east.

"I have lived here for 10 years but I just want to get away now,” she said. “I am constantly on edge whenever I hear a noise. I don’t want to be wondering who I can trust when I go outside.”

Lancaster City Council have secured funding for security measures along the cycle path, and officers are now looking at how the money can best be used.

Concerned resident Luke Edmondson also set up a petition, which can be found online, for better security on the cycleway.