Edmonton woman wounded after Rogers Place seat collapses

Edmonton woman badly wounded after Rogers Place seat collapses

What was supposed to be a memorable night at the Toronto Raptors exhibition game in Edmonton quickly turned into one a woman is trying to forget.

Margaret Dirsa on a backboard in Edmonton

Margaret Dirsa, 71, on a backboard after sustaining injuries in Edmonton’s Rogers Place.

Margaret Dirsa, 71, and her daughter were looking forward to going to Rogers Place to see the Raptors take on the Utah Jazz on Sunday, Oct. 2.

“We were two rows up,” Dirsa told CTV News Edmonton. “We were on one end and we could see the entire basketball court and we weren’t that far from where the backboard was. We had perfect vision.”

“This was on her (my daughter’s) bucket list,” Dirsa said.

The two sat down as the basketball teams were warming up when the one of their seats collapsed.

“The chair I was sitting on collapsed, sending me backwards where my head hit the cement behind me, and the chair arm hit me in the rib area,” Dirsa recalled.

“I think I was in shock,” she added.

Rogers Place staff quickly came to Dirsa, who says they attempted to fix the chair. Then medical personnel came to help move her and examine her injuries.

“I didn’t start feeling sick until the gal from Rogers moved us,” Dirsa said. “I go about halfway down behind the player’s bench when nausea started coming through.”

Dirsa made it to the concourse when she bumped into her family doctor, who was immediately concerned for her wellbeing.

“Next thing I knew, I was off to the first aid room with two paramedics,” Dirsa said.

She was placed onto a backboard and taken to the Royal Alexandra Hospital.

After a CT scan and a consultation with an orthopedic surgeon, Dirsa says doctors suspected she sustained soft tissue or muscular damage.

Collapsed chair at Rogers Place in Edmonton

Margaret Dirsa’s chair collapsed at Rogers Place earlier this month as she was about to enjoy the Toronto Raptors exhibition game.

While her family doctor is still assessing the full extent of her injuries, she still has problems moving almost a month later.

“To put on clothes or stuff, I’m practically bent like a pretzel, so I don’t have to move,” Dirsa said. “It’s something I’ll never forget, and I don’t ever want to go back there.”

Dirsa wishes arena staff had been more helpful and attentive to her situation.

“They need to have some personnel that know how to deal with this situation. Like show some empathy and compassion, not worry about, we can get you seats somewhere else,” Dirsa said. “(They) had no idea what I was going through.”

Rogers Place told the family they will reimburse their tickets and once Dirsa is well enough, they will receive a “full experience” at the arena. Dirsa and her husband are still waiting to hear from the arena’s insurance company for word on any further compensation.

Fan and staff safety are the company’s top priority, said Stuart Ballantyne, president and COO of Rogers Place and Ice District, in a statement to CTV News Edmonton.

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