Mum Dies After Waiting Six Hours For Ambulance To Treat Broken Foot
A mum in Wales died from a heart attack after having to wait nearly six hours on the freezing pavement for an ambulance when she fell in the street outside her home.
Donna Gilby, from Cwmaman, had left her flat just after 8.00am on Tuesday, December 17, for a doctor’s appointment when she slipped and fractured her foot.
Now the family of the 47-year-old, who has an 11-year-old daughter, wants the world to see the photograph of her lying outside, face down and unable to move. Her friends and neighbours rallied round the injured mum, covering her with blankets and duvets to keep her warm as the temperature dropped.
Neighbours called 999 for Donna, who had an irregular heart beat and had previously suffered two mini strokes, as well as alerting her family, who fortunately lived nearby.
Donna’s father Gareth Gilby said:
We then called the ambulance service and told them Donna was slipping in and out of consciousness – that must have been somewhere between 8am and 8.30am.
The call handler told us they were dealing with ‘a heavy influx of calls’ and that they’d be with her ‘as soon as possible’.
When there was still no sign an hour later we called again – this time we were told they were ‘doing their best’ but that they ‘didn’t know when they would get to her’.
Gareth said the ambulance finally arrived shortly before 2pm and rushed his daughter to Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil.
However, in the early hours of yesterday, December 18, Donna suffered a cardiac arrest and sadly passed away.
In a statement from the Welsh Ambulance Service, Chief Executive Jason Killens said:
We were deeply saddened to hear about the death of Ms Gilby and would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to her family.
We are sorry that our response took longer than we would have liked on this occasion.
Our ambulance service exists to care for people, and our staff share the same upset and frustrations as patients and their loved ones at times like this.
Lengthy waits for an ambulance are a sign of pressures across the whole unscheduled care system, not just in Wales but across the UK.
An increase in high-priority ‘red’ calls and significant hospital handover delays in particular are impacting on our ability to respond to 999 calls as quickly as we would like.
We are investigating Ms Gilby’s case and would invite her family to contact us directly to share their experience of what happened in order to inform that investigation.
Our thoughts are with Donna’s family and friends.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence, contact Cruse Bereavement Care via its national helpline on 0808 808 1677.