falling from a ladder unsupervised and needing to get help « »

Winner: Shelley Larcom, Natrona Heights, PA

Shelley Larcom, 36, of Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania, is handy around the house. Put in an efficient new lockset on her front door. Very efficient. On a cold, rainy morning, she got up to let the dog out. "But soon as I closed the door behind me," says Shelley, who was still in her pj's, "I got that sinking feeling." It was locked. So was the back door and all the windows—except one on the second floor. So she grabbed a ladder and started her ascent to the unlocked window. That's when she slipped and plummeted onto the garage roof, spraining her left ankle and breaking her right leg. Despite the agonizing pain, she climbed down and dragged herself into the yard, where she grabbed a firewood ax. She busted down a wooden basement door, crawled upstairs, and called an ambulance. "I'm happy to say that I have been back up on that ladder," says Shelley. "Only now I make sure someone is there to hold it."

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