Holiday fall teenager 'out of coma'

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The Independent Online

A British teenager who fell six floors from the corridor walkway of a Spanish holiday apartment has emerged from a coma, the hotel said today.

A man who fell with her is expected to be released from hospital within a week.

Jemma France, 18, from Dukinfield, and Lee Cook, 28, from Mottram, Hyde, both in Greater Manchester, were found lying beneath the walkway in a pool of blood by hotel staff at 3am yesterday.

Antonio Campos, manager of the Gran Canaria hotel they were staying in, said today: "At midnight last night the reception was told that Mr Cook was better and was going home soon.

"But the woman is very bad. It's believed she fell down first and the man was behind her and fell on top."

He said they were lucky to have landed on some plastic tables and not on the rocks nearby.

Hotel receptionist Isabel Bego said she heard from hospital staff that Mr Cook had had an operation on his stomach and that Miss France had emerged from a coma but had many fractures to her head and neck.

The pair were on holiday with friends at the Casablanca Apartments in the Canary Island resort of Puerto Rico.

Police were still investigating the incident at the hotel yesterday evening.

Mr Cook's father, Stephen Cook, said he was relieved his son was on the mend but was worried on behalf of Miss France's family.

He said: "Lee's brother Wesley has flown out to Gran Canaria to visit him.

"He went down to the ward today and he said Lee's OK and should be released from hospital within a week.

"I'm not too sure about the girl though."

Mr Cook only learned about what had happened to his son when he got home from work yesterday evening.

"I was devastated," he said. "He's a pretty quiet guy and nothing usually happens to him. We've heard he was trying to save the girl when she fell."

He said his son, who works for a window fabricating company, was a friend of Miss France's and they had gone out to the Canary Island with others to visit another friend who lives there.

He had been celebrating his 28th birthday on the island.

Wesley Cook plans to stay with his brother until he comes home, while friends who were holidaying with the group were said to be by Miss France's hospital bedside yesterday.

On friend, speaking from her room in the hotel today, said she did not want to talk about the incident.

Thomas Cook, the travel agent who booked the holiday, said it was still not clear exactly what had happened.

A spokesman said: "Thomas Cook can confirm that two of its guests on holiday in Gran Canaria have fallen from a corridor walkway.

"Our team in the resort are providing support and assistance to both the guests and their friends and family."

The pair checked into the hotel on Monday, planning to stay for one week.

They and their eight companions booked four rooms between them, the hotel said.

Friends of Miss France posted their good wishes on her Facebook social networking page.

Lauren Whitehead wrote: "I love you babe! So so much... We know how strong you are, you can pull through this!

"You're in our thoughts hun! Love you x".

Aimee Tolen said: "Jemma... you're gonna pull through this... everyone is praying for you. Hope it gets better!"