Rallying round to help popular waitress
Lyntour Hassell’s ankle was often swollen after a long day at work. The waitress did not think much of it until it blew up twice its usual size at the start of this month.
An ultrasound at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital revealed that the 42-year-old had a blood clot in her leg.
“It was emotional. I was crying and couldn’t believe this was happening,” said Ms Hassell, a mother of three.
“When I’ve heard of people getting blood clots, as far as I knew it was very serious, so this was an eye-opener and shocker, more or less.
“Even the doctor said it could have been worse and gone up to my lungs or brain.”
Ms Hassell has been off work and taking blood thinners for the past two weeks. She is scheduled to have surgery for a fibroid condition in September.
Her co-workers at Bermuda Bistro at the Beach are rallying around her and her boss, Rick Olson, has organised a series of fundraisers in her aid, which start today.
“That day [July 1] I was walking around the house and my leg felt kind of stiff, but it wasn’t swollen, so I didn’t pay it any mind,” Ms Hassell said.
“My ankle would swell up from time to time prior to that. I took it on as something work-related, as far as me having a long day and being on my feet.
“Usually once I got home and had a shower or a bath the swelling would subside and go down and be back to normal.
“So I continued on with my day and was trying to make work at 4pm.
“From me leaving my home to go to the bus stop it felt like I had run a marathon.
“I was exhausted and thought, ‘Something is wrong’. I made it on the bus and got to town, but as I was walking to work I had to stop in a shop because it felt like I would pass out.”
By the time she got to work her leg “had blown right up”.
A restaurant manager took her to hospital.
Mr Olson said he and Ms Hassell had built up a relationship over the many years they had worked together.
“From now until she returns to work we will be providing a signature drink and a pizza and pasta buffet and giving half the proceeds from those to Lyntour,” he said.
“She’s been one of my longest-serving employees.
“I have been in business now coming up 18 years and she has been with me for many of those.
“She has been reliable and is overall just an excellent person and I have a lot of respect for her. Her children grew up here and one of her sons works for me part-time, so I would like to help in any way possible.”
One of Ms Hassell’s biggest blows was missing her daughter Asha graduate from Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK this week.
The advice she now gives to everyone is to listen to any sign, no matter how subtle, that something is not right with your body.
“Just because you don’t see anything wrong or feel any pain you think everything is okay and tend to put a lot of things on the back burner, and that’s what I did,” Ms Hassell said. “I always said, ‘I’ll deal with that later’, and if I didn’t feel pain I wouldn’t go to the doctor.
“I could have died if [the clot] had gotten my lungs or brain.”
The waitress admitted that the loss of her regular income had been a “little overwhelming” for her.
“I’m not really working and sick pay isn’t really much,” she said. “I’m not sure how insurance runs when I am not working, but my boss said he would come up with something to help me out with my bills.”
Ms Hassell said the show of community support had meant a lot to her.
“I have been in the hospitality business for a long time and you see people on a regular basis and you speak to them, but when things happen like this you wouldn’t think that so many people would be concerned,” she said.
“Everyone has messaged me and the support has been overwhelming.
“People are very concerned about my condition; I wouldn’t think people would even care.
“Everyone is looking out for me and wishing me all the best and telling me to hurry up and come back to work. It’s very overwhelming, very nice.”
• The fundraisers at Bermuda Bistro at the Beach will take place every Friday from 12-3pm until further notice