Doctors advised John Thomas be admitted to hospital with suspected sepsis as he was ‘shaking profusely’ and had an increased heart rate. No ambulance, however, was available for up to six hours
A ‘dying’ great-grandad was rushed to hospital by police after an ambulance failed to show up, his family claim.
John Thomas became ill with sepsis and went to his GP to get checked over.
The retired butcher, described as a “loving family man”, visited his doctor near Swansea, Wales on Wednesday.
His daughter Jan James said doctors advised admission to Morriston Hospital with the suspected condition as he was “shaking profusely” and had an increased heart rate.
WalesOnline reports several departments were called, but none could offer the 82-year-old a bed.
Doctors advised the pensioner should be taken to Singleton Hospital by ambulance directly from the practice.
But a 999 call operator allegedly warned it would take “four to six hours” for a crew to reach him.
This meant Jan was faced with having to drive her severely unwell dad to the hospital around 30 minutes away.
She said: “[The doctors] said I needed to take my dad to hospital straight away and that we couldn’t afford to wait that long for an ambulance. I was told that he was septic and he was being violently sick.
“I was told that if he deteriorated while we were in the car to pull over and ring 999 immediately.
“As I passed by the Swansea.com stadium my father slumped over in the car and onto me. At this point I was screaming.
“I managed to pull over by some houses on the left hand side. I tried to push him up but he was unresponsive.
“The sweat was pouring off him and he was delirious, drifting in and out of consciousness.”
She called 999 and was told it would be between a three and five-hour wait for an ambulance.
Jan said: “I was crying and shaking myself. I was saying to them ‘my dad’s going to die, please come and help me’.”
She looked in her rear view mirror and could see a police vehicle and ran over to the officer standing nearby.
Jan added: “I could see that he was putting someone in his van. I went over crying my eyes out and asked him for help.
“He took my phone and spoke to the 999 call handler himself to explain how poorly my dad was. The officer was so heroic.
“He made the decision to call for backup, which was blue-lighted to us in 10 minutes, his colleagues took the man away in their van and we managed to get my dad in the back of the officer’s van and get him to Singleton.”
When they arrived at the hospital, a team of clinicians were waiting to take over the care of her father.
She said: “Staff came from everywhere and treated him straight away. They were amazing.
“The registrar said my dad was in a very bad way and that he was lucky to still be here. I took that to mean that the police officer saved his life.
“The officer didn’t leave my side until another family member joined me at the hospital.
” I cannot thank him enough for what he has done. I only know him as Steve, and I would love to say thank-you to him in person. To me he was heroic and so caring.
“Sadly he said they do this sort of thing quite often.”
Jan said John was diagnosed with urinary sepsis and remains in hospital where he is receiving antibiotics.
“It was the most traumatic experience I’ve ever been through in my entire life. I was absolutely petrified
“My father is the most loving man who would do anything for anybody. He is my absolute world.”
Darren Panniers, head of service for the Emergency Medical Service in the South East said: “We are deeply sorry to hear of Mr Thomas’ experience, and we would like to also extend our apologies to his daughter.
“Prolonged handover delays are sadly a recurring issue, which means we cannot always get to patients in the community as quickly as we would like.”
“We would like to thank our police service colleagues who were able to get Mr Thomas to hospital and wish him a speedy recovery.
“We would invite Mr Thomas or a representative to contact us directly if they would like to discuss their experience in more detail.”
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