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Wales Online
Wales Online
Izzy Hawksworth, SWNS & Stephanie Wareham

Widower slams ambulance service as wife waited 16 hours for help but sadly died

A heartbroken widower has slammed an ambulance service which didn't send a crew to aid his dying wife until she had died - 16 hours after he first raised the alarm. Matthew Simpson's wife Teresa, 54, died on Wednesday (November 30) of a cardiac arrest after she went into a diabetic hypoglycaemia, which starved her brain of oxygen.

But Matthew, 47, believes she'd still be alive if the Yorkshire Ambulance Service turned up when he first pulled the emergency cord in their bungalow at 3pm the day before. He says he pulled the cord after Teresa, who suffered from muscle weakening disease Myotonic Dystrophy and diabetes, became confused.

The couple, from Hull, East Yorkshire, were told three hours later an ambulance couldn't be sent for a couple of hours as they were really busy. They both eventually fell asleep at 3am, but when Matthew woke up to check on Teresa at 7.30am the next day, he found her in her wheelchair completely lifeless.

Matthew, Teresa's full time carer, then rang 999 while trying to resuscitate her, and an ambulance finally arrived - 16 hours after he pulled the emergency cord. Teresa was rushed Hull Royal Infirmary and put on life support, but just a couple of hours later, she had to be taken off and a heartbroken Matthew had to say goodbye.

Matthew said: "The ambulance only arrived at that time because I rang up and said she was lifeless. If I didn't ring back, I don't think the ambulance would have even turned up when it did.

"I always knew my wife's life was going to end because of her illness, but not like this. No matter what anyone else says about the situation, the ambulance company has killed my wife.

"If she had got the help she needed, she would have been in hospital so when she had the heart attack, she would have been in there and got the help she needed."

Matthew, has made an official complaint the Yorkshire Ambulance Service but it will take up to 55 days for the investigation to be completed. A Yorkshire Ambulance Service spokesperson said they offered their sincere condolences to Mr Simpson and said they would contact him regarding his complaint.

Matthew added: "They knew she was confused and I don't understand why they took all of that time to come. If they didn't understand she was confused, then proper medically-trained people should be on the end of the phone asking questions.

Teresa suffered from Myotonic Dystrophy, a muscle weakening disease, and diabetes and had started to get really confused so Matthew pulled the emergency cord in their home (Matthew Simpson/SWNS)

"I don't think they asked me if she had diabetes - they should be asking these types of questions. If the ambulance came out to her, she would have had a fighting chance to survive in hospital instead of being left to die on her own."

Matthew paid tribute to his 'wonderful' wife of 24 years, describing her as an 'outstanding wife and my first love.' He said: "She was very caring and loving and just didn't complain about her illness at all - she just got on with her life.

"She just always showed me love and support, she was an outstanding wife and my first love. We were like best friends, we were able to finish each other's conversations.

"When we used to come out with the same word at the same time, we used to say 'snap' then I would say 'crackle' and she would say 'pop'. She was just a wonderful, caring woman.

"I've just lost my best friend and my wife, I'm completely heartbroken as we did everything together. I made sure she had the best quality of life by taking her on trips and taking her out for meals."

An ambulance finally arrived 16 hours after Matthew pulled the emergency cord but she died in hospital (Matthew Simpson/SWNS)

He is also raising money for Teresa's funeral, as he is currently in debt as he bought his wife some electronic devices before she passed to 'give her the best quality of life.' Matthew said: "I've now got to find money for my wife to be cremated

"I always wanted to give her the best quality of life, I'm in some debt with O2 because I bought her a tablet. I always wanted to keep her mind active so I got her a tablet and mobile phone.

"Now I've been left with everything financially, and I'll be down by £1,100 a month when my wife's benefits stop."

Visit to donate to the fundraising effort.

The Yorkshire Ambulance Service have been contacted for further comment. A spokesman told HullLive: “First and foremost, our thoughts are with Mr Simpson on the sad loss of his wife Teresa this week, and we offer him our sincere condolences.

“Our Patient Relations Team has received correspondence from him raising concerns about our response to this incident. They will liaise directly with Mr Simpson about specific details relating to this.”

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