An active and healthy grandmother passed away four months after suffering a freak accident that left her paralysed, an inquest heard today.

Brenda Hartson, of Rosary Court, Potters Bar, was left with little or no feeling below her neck when she fell down the stairs at her daughter’s home in St Albans on July 6 last year.

Hatfield Coroner’s Court heard this morning that the unfortunate impact with a radiator at the bottom of the stairs caused severe damage to her spinal cord.

Following the accident, she had been referred to a number of specialists and was due to begin a rehabilitation course.

But the retired receptionist suffered several infections and setbacks in her recovery and eventually succumbed to pneumonia during a stay at Barnet Hospital on November 17.

Recording a conclusion of accidental death, Coroner Edward Thomas described the mother-of-two as “very healthy”, noting that she had not needed to visit her GP in almost ten years.

Son-in-law Paul Spelzini said Mrs Hartson was very well known in her local community in Potters Bar, particularly in the Builder’s Arms pub, where she had been a customer for 20 years.

He said: “She was very determined and dynamic – one of those people who just made you really happy – someone everyone seemed to know.

“It was just a very unfortunate incident. She was an important part of the family – a very positive woman.”