AN 87-YEAR-OLD woman spent four days trapped in her bath...only escaping when a lifesaving waitress raised the alarm.

Sonia Congrave, 39, suspected something was wrong when regular customer Doreen Mann failed to turn up at Tomassi’s, in Southend High Street, for her usual slice of cake.

Little did she know that poor Doreen had been stuck in her bath for four days - surviving by topping up the hot water and drinking from the tap.

Mrs Congrave, of Eastwoodbury Lane, Southend, said calling police to check on the loyal customer was the best decision she has ever made.

She said: “It was her birthday on the Wednesday and she came in like normal. She didn’t come in for a few days and then she didn’t come in on Saturday like she always does, but I thought perhaps her cousin from Chelmsford was visiting her.

“On the Monday she didn’t come in and the best thing I did was call the police because I was concerned and luckily I had her address so the police went to check if she was ok.”

Doreen had left her patio doors unlocked and when police arrived at her home, they could hear her calling for help.

They found her in the bath covered with towels and a robe.

Mrs Congrave, who has worked at Tomassi’s for 17 years, said: “I think any member of staff would have done what I did.

“She said she wasn’t sure she was going to make it and bruised all her knees where she tried to get out. She is a really strong woman - all she wanted afterwards was her cake and a cup of tea.

“She has given me a key in case anything happens in the future.

“She is a real character, all the staff and customers talk to her.

“She said she drank the water from the tap and kept filling the bath and letting it out until she stopped and covered herself with towels and robes.

Mrs Congrave is also buying Ms Mann a mobile phone so she can be contacted in future emergencies.

She praised the police for their quick response, adding that they had left her a voicemail thanking her for her actions.

Ms Mann, from Southend, began visiting the restaurant ten years ago when her late husband moved into a care home.

She said: “I am lucky I am sitting here. It was frightening in a sense because I didn’t know how long I would be stuck there.

“I had gone for a bath at 9.30am and when I went to get out, I couldn’t. I was laying there until the police came.

“Thanks to Sonia, the police came and found me. She is my biggest friend, I have been visiting the restaurant for years.

“If it wasn’t for her, I would probably still be sitting there. I kept myself calm and thought ‘I mustn’t panic’ but I never want to experience that again.”