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Woman Forced To 'Wet Herself' In River Island After Staff Refused Toilet Access

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Woman Forced To 'Wet Herself' In River Island After Staff Refused Toilet Access

A mum-of-two who suffers from incontinence due to a neurological condition says she wet herself after River Island staff refused to let her use their toilet.

Bianca Artwell, 30, from Rugby, suffers from Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) - a medical condition that affects her nervous system and impacts how her brain and body send and receive signals.

Bianca suffers with weakness or paralysis, tremors or tics, difficulty walking, loss of balance, and incontinence.

Bianca suffers from Functional Neurological Disorder. Credit: SWNS
Bianca suffers from Functional Neurological Disorder. Credit: SWNS
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Mum Bianca was horrified last week, when she was shopping in River Island to return a pair of shoes for her three-year-old daughter.

As she approached the till, she suddenly realised she needed the toilet, and asked if she could use the store's, explaining her condition and emphasising that she was unable to wait.

Bianca says staff refused - stating it was against company policy - and despite pleading with the store manager, Bianca says she was told to go to a cafe across the road.

Unfortunately, as she went to leave, Bianca was unable to hold and wet herself.

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The mum claims that instead of helping her, staff not only ignored her but put a ‘wet floor’ sign next to her.

“On this particular day I felt quite independent with my aids so I asked my friend to watch my daughter while I went into River Island using my crutches so I could swap some shoes I had bought," she says.

The mum claims that instead of helping her, staff not only ignored her but put a ‘wet floor’ sign next to her. Credit: SWNS
The mum claims that instead of helping her, staff not only ignored her but put a ‘wet floor’ sign next to her. Credit: SWNS

“As I approached the till I knew instantly that my bladder retention was about to reverse and I needed to go urgently.

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“I asked the ladies at the till if I could please discreetly use their toilet and explained I wouldn’t make it if I didn’t go immediately.

“They said no and said I needed to go to a coffee shop across the road. I pleaded again explaining I definitely wouldn’t make it there but they refused.

“I tried to at least make it outside but only got maybe a metre and a half away from the tills before my worst fears happened. My bladder let go.

“Stood in a pool of my own urine I turned to the three staff members on the till and explained I was really sorry but I had had an accident.

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“They just stared at me and the manager who was getting ready to leave instructed them to put a wet floor sign down.

“I stood there frozen in complete horror. A staff member came up to me but instead of offering to help she just dropped the wet floor sign next to me and walked away."

Bianca continued: “As other customers arrived, walking past me and my wet floor sign, it finally occurred that this was my problem and the staff weren’t going to help me in any way.

“No offer of going to a changing room, no offer of tissues, no offer of other clothing or even a ‘are you okay?’"

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Bianca has now lodged a formal complaint. Credit: SWNS
Bianca has now lodged a formal complaint. Credit: SWNS

Bianca, who works as a beauty therapist, has now lodged a formal complaint and demanded River Island staff are given better training.

River Island has since apologised to Bianca for what happened.

A spokesman for River Island said: “Every one of our customers matters to us and we were sorry to hear of this customer’s experience in one of our stores.

“Our Head of Customer Care is already in direct communication with this customer and we are reviewing our policies and procedures to ensure that everyone feels welcome and cared for whenever they visit our stores.”

Featured Image Credit: SWNS/SHUTTERSTOCK

Topics: Life, Health

Lucy Devine
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