A "healthy" dad told his wife that he was "scared" over the phone before he tragically died of a heart attack following a near two-hour ambulance wait. Michael Wright, 33, was rushed to hospital after collapsing at home but despite medics' best efforts he sadly passed away that night, the Stoke Sentinel reports.
Now his heartbroken wife Vicki has slammed the NHS waiting times as she claims that the tragedy could have been "avoidable" if her husband had not waited so long for help. Vicki was not able to say goodbye to Michael as she had been out at the time with their kids and when she raced to the hospital she was told by medics that he was gone.
The father of four - who rang 999 after suffering excruciating pains in his chest and vomiting - quickly deteriorated during the one hour and 45 minute wait for paramedics on January 17. When he was eventually taken to hospital, it was confirmed that he had experienced a heart attack.
Vicki, 31, said: "I am angry. I am really angry. It could have been prevented. It could have. It's horrible. He had no health problems like this. He was totally healthy.
"I know there is a strain on the NHS at the moment but it is not good enough to leave him that long. They could have told him to jump in a taxi because to take nearly two hours is not on.
"I was out at the time but after he'd called for an ambulance, he called me to tell me he had this awful pain in his chest. He vomited while he was on the phone to me. He said he was becoming scared."
East of England Ambulance Service offered their apologies for the delay as industrial action happened from workers across various industries, including ambulance workers. However, no strike action has been taken by staff at East of England Ambulance Service.
Vicki, who married Michael in 2018, has argued his death could have been prevented if paramedics had arrived at his home in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, within the 18-minute guideline time for the 'Category 2' call. Vicki said: "I got a call to say he had gone into cardiac arrest in hospital.I rushed there and they put me straight in the family room, and they said basically that he'd gone. They had tried to work on him for 90 minutes."
She has now paid tribute to her beloved husband who she's described as "lovely" and "very humorous". She added: "He had a very funny side to his character. He made me laugh."
An East of England Ambulance Service spokesperson said: "We offer our sincere condolences to Mr Wright’s family and loved ones. At the time of the call we were experiencing high levels of demand and our ability to respond to patients was significantly affected by handover delays at hospitals.
"We are working hard to meet demand on our services by recruiting additional clinical staff, hiring more call handlers, and working closely with local hospitals to reduce handover delays so we can reach patients more quickly."
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