AN Abingdon woman is banking on a lucky 20p coin to break her run of bad fortune, which saw her suffer a heart attack and break a leg.

Lorraine Solomon, from Caldecott Road, found she had one of the 200,000 undated 20p pieces accidentally released by the Royal Mint.

Collectors have been anxious to get their hands on the rare coins, which have been released without bearing the traditional year of issue mark.

One of the coins fetched £7,100 on an Internet auction site after the Mint admitted the mistake last week, although prices in the hundreds of pounds have been more typical.

Mrs Solomon, 50, who was widowed in 1997, said that she found the coin when she checked the change in her purse at home.

She said: “I collect all the new issues of coins and when my son was talking to me about the 20p coins it made me wonder whether I had got one.

“I had a look through my purse and we realised we did.

“We just laughed and laughed, we were so excited.”

Mrs Solomon, who suffered a heart attack in April last year, said that in the past 12 months her family had been plagued by bad luck, including her son Wayne, 32, needing treatment for cancer.

Kylie, one of her greyhounds, died, then, when Mrs Solomon was out walking her three remaining dogs, one of the animals tripped her up and she broke a leg in the fall.

Vandals have also damaged her car and broken the windows of a new extension she has had built following her heart attack, because she now cannot manage the stairs at her home.

Mrs Solomon said she was not sure how much she would get for her 20p coin, but was hoping for enough to treat Wayne, whose cancer treatment has just finished, and David, 31, to a summer holiday.

She said: “All I want to be able to do is take my sons away and give them a break. As long as it’s enough for that, we’ll be happy.

“We couldn’t believe it, it seems like a bit of luck has finally come to us.

She added: “After the bad year that we have had, we now feel like something has come along to really make our lives just a bit different. This just gives us a bit of hope.”