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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Antony Thrower & Jonathon Hill

Wife begged for ambulance for two hours while watching husband die in front of her

A wife begged for an ambulance to arrive at her home for two hours as she watched her husband die in front of her of a heart attack.

Lesley Weekley, 73, from Barry, had planned to take Rob, her husband of 43 years, into hospital the next morning after he complained of sporadic discomfort similar to indigestion.

However he woke her in the night and when she checked he was clammy and freezing cold, so called 999 at around 2am.

Over the next two hours she called four more times as Rob’s condition deteriorated.

By the time paramedics arrived she had been doing CPR for 20 minutes to keep him alive, but after taking over she was told he was gone.

Lesley told Wales Online: “I stood there and watched them doing their best and pumping adrenaline into him, but he’d gone. I think he’d already died by the time they’d reached us.

Rob woke up having a heart attack, but ambulance crews did not arrive in time (Mark Lewis)

“We’d gone to bed on that night with me telling him I’d be taking him to A&E the next morning.

"He was reluctant to go to A&E because of the long waits, but I told him I’d make him go. He hadn’t seemed too bad but he’d been complaining of a tightness and a trapped wind sensation in his chest.

“I don’t remember if I said the words ‘heart attack’ when I first called 999, but I knew he had all of the symptoms and I kept repeating the symptoms to the call handlers.

"I couldn’t get a pulse, which I was told later by the paramedics was because his blood pressure was so low and his body was shutting down.”

Lesley rang 999 several times before the paramedics arrived two hours later (Mark Lewis)

“When I first rang 999 they said they had no ambulances available. I explained Rob’s symptoms, and was told to give him four aspirin tablets to chew.

“At 2.36am I called again, and told the call handler that he had collapsed when he tried to get off the bed to go to the toilet.

“At 2.55am I rang again and told them he had worsened and that while he was breathing his pulse had stopped. He told me he was lightheaded and had a tingling sensation. I rang again at 3.11am and said the pulse was still not there, but had the same response.

“I rang again at 3.32am and this time I begged for an ambulance, and then he stopped breathing while I was on the phone.”

The paramedics told Lesley Rob may have survived had they arrived sooner (Mark Lewis)

The paramedics told Lesley he would have probably survived the heart attack had they been dispatched following the first call.

Rob - a retired architect, was loved and well-respected in Barry and further afield, especially in music and rugby circles.

He captained Barry Rugby Club and then played for London Welsh after moving near London for 25 years to live with Lesley, who is from Kent.

Lesley added: “Rob was a delightful person, he was so positive, he saw the best in everyone, he loved a chat and a debate, and he was a great musician. When he left rugby he needed something else to occupy him and to be around people - and he found that with his music.

The Welsh Ambulance Service said it was "sorry" to hear about the incident (Mark Lewis)

"He had no idea just how well thought of he was - but we’ve received so many texts and so much support. It’s been like Waterloo station in here.

“I think once that all settles down it will really hit me that he’s gone.”

Liam Williams, executive director of quality and nursing at the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: “We are really sorry to hear about such a distressing incident, and we send our deepest condolences to Mrs Weekley and her family.

"This is not the service we aim to deliver, and we know that this must have been a very upsetting and traumatic experience for Mrs Weekley.

“We will be contacting Mrs Weekley to listen to her concerns, investigate the circumstances of our response to Mr Weekley and answer any questions she may have.”

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