Mum with rare condition forced to wet herself in Rugby's River Island after staff refuse to let her use staff toilet

Mum with rare condition forced to wet herself in Rugby's River Island after staff refuse to let her use staff toilet.

A mum-of-two who suffers from incontinence wet herself in Rugby's River Island after staff refused to let her use their toilet – and placed a ‘Wet Floor’ sign next to her.

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

Her symptoms include weakness or paralysis, tremors or tics, difficulty walking, loss of balance, and incontinence.

Bianca Artwell outside River Island at Elliott's Field Retail Park in Rugby

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Last week Bianca was in River Island in Elliott’s Field Retail Park, where she was returning a pair of shoes for her three-year-old daughter.

But as she approached the till she realised she needed the toilet - something she struggles to control due to her FND.

She asked staff to use the store’s toilet, explaining her condition and that she was unable to wait but they refused, saying it was against company policy.

Despite pleading with staff and the store manager, Bianca was told to go to a cafe across the road, but as she tried to leave the store she was unable to hold on and wet herself.

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Bianca Artwell outside River Island at Elliott's Field Retail Park in Rugby

Rather than offering to help, staff ignored the distraught mum-of-two and instead put a ‘wet floor’ sign next to her.

Bianca, from Rugby, said: “As I approached the till I knew instantly that my bladder retention was about to reverse and I needed to go urgently.

“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.

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“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.

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

Bianca says she was offered a new outfit from the shop which she refused to accept.

River Island has apologised to Bianca.

A spokesman 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.

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“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.”