Woman With Claustrophobia Goes Through Painful Ordeal - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Woman With Claustrophobia Goes Through Painful Ordeal

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -

A claustrophobic woman's worst nightmare comes true. After getting locked inside a work bathroom after hours, she had to claw her way out.

"It was terrifying," Karen Perrin recalled.

She showed us the pictures taken after the fact of the gaping hole that she made in the restroom wall that finally allowed her to escape.

Just thinking about the ordeal makes Karen cry.

"I panicked. I'm claustrophobic, number one," Perrin painfully recalled.

Karen is a senior assistant for a private family foundation.

She was working on a project until 10 on 12/6, preparing her boss for international travel.

"I wrapped things up at my desk, packed my work bag, went to the ladies room for a quick trip there before departing," she recalled.

But when she came out of the stall and washed her hands, she found that the door to the ladies restroom was locked.

"The door would not budge."

She tried to dismantle the lock and she kicked at the door, but nothing. Eventually, she broke off the handle, but she still couldn't get out.

But with the door handle, she was able to chisel a hole in the wall leading to the men's room next door, but she ran into a barrier.

She then tried to get the attention of security monitoring the outside hallway by camera.

"One thing I did begin to do immediately was to take paper towels and slide them under the door, shoot them under the door," said Perrin.

However, nobody noticed.

With no other choice, Perrin had to try to keep chiseling away at the wall with the door handle.

Eventually, she tore a hole through the wall next to the door and got her hands through to unlock it from the outside.

Her hand was bleeding and she was aching all over.

"My wrists... you know, my hands. I do know I have contusions on my hands from using the door handle to chisel the wall," she said.

She called home with a phone from the outside. Her husband and daughter came to get her and were relieved to know she was okay.

"I kept ringing her phone, calling her, calling her and really just before she called, I was on the way down there," Lonnie Perrin recalled.

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