Karen Perrin, who admits to being claustrophobic, found herself locked in her workplace bathroom for 8 hours, yet managed to chisel her way out through the wall and open the door, reports ABC News.
Perrin, who is the wife of former Washington Redskins running back Lonnie Perrin, works as a senior assistant at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in D.C. Having left her cellphone at her desk, Perrin went to use the rest room at about 10 p.m. after working a late night last Friday. Upon washing her hands, Perrin tried to open the bathroom door, but the lock would not budge.
Jiggling and kicking the latch to try to get it to open was an attempt in futility. Soon, she was panic-stricken and her fear of closed spaces was taking over. “I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “I felt hopelessness. I felt like I was going to die in there because of the anxiety I was feeling.”
As the night progressed, Perrin tried to conjure up ways in which she might possibly flag someone’s attention. She grabbed paper towels and flung them under the door in hopes that surveillance cameras would pick up the constant movements.
“I probably put 200 towels out,” Perrin recalls. “But after nobody came to rescue me, I realized I had to do something else.”
She climbed on a chair to try to reach an escape door in the bathroom ceiling but was unable to hoist herself up. She did, however, stumble across a metal rod which was about 3 feet long and used this as her escape aid.
Perrin began to utilize the rod to chisel her way through the bathroom wall near the door, using the 1994 prison escape film “Shawshank Redemption” as inspiration. Two hours had passed and Perrin was still digging her way through the tile, dry wall, and insulation until she was able to create a hole large enough to get her arm through so she could wiggle the handle of the door. Finally, Perrin was able to get the bathroom door opened!
“I came undone,” Perrin admitted to ABC News. “I was crying. I felt like I was escaping a bad dream, like when you have a nightmare and you wake up and your heart is pounding and you realize, ‘Oh, I was just dreaming. Did that just happen. Am I OK?’”
As soon as she sprung herself free, Perrin contacted her husband and daughter to let them know of her ordeal.
Now Perrin is resting comfortably at home nursing a few scrapes and bruises but ecstatic that she was able to escape her tomb.
As to why the bathroom door would not open, that’s still a mystery.