After waiting for six hours on the pavement in the freezing cold for an ambulance to come, a woman dies of a heart attack in the hospital.
While Christmas is a time of joy and happiness for most of us, last year, one family was left deeply saddened and shocked during the festive holiday season. The death of a 47-year-old mother who was forced to wait for six hours for an ambulance in the freezing cold last December shocked everyone.
After all this time she spent on the pavement outside, Donna Gilby, hailing from Cwmaman, Wales, died of a heart attack in the hospital.
That morning, at 8 am, the woman stepped out for a doctor’s appointment, but she slipped and fractured the ankle. For the next six hours, she was left lying face down in the cold, waiting for an ambulance to come.
The family of the deceased woman shared a photo of her struggling on the floor as a way to raise awareness of the response time of ambulances.
Donna Gilby’s father releases devastating photo of his daughter waiting for an ambulance before death https://t.co/6I5rVPdeEC
Donna, 47, who has an 11-year-old daughter, waited 6 hours for the ambulance to arrive. After getting to hospital she suffered a cardiac arrest and died. pic.twitter.com/6PnEODpXp0
— Ben Claimant 💚 #joinaunion (@imajsaclaimant) December 19, 2019
The poor woman was standing on the pavement, freezing, and unable to move. Her friends and neighbors covered her with blankets and duvets, and alerted her family and called the emergency online.
Donna has already sniggered two mini-strokes and had an irregular heartbeat, so they all feared for her but were helpless while waiting for the ambulance.
Her father, Gareth Gilby, 74, a former factory worker, said:
“We then called the ambulance service and told them Donna was slipping in and out of consciousness — that must have been somewhere between 8 and 8.30 a.m.
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’.”
After six long hours, the ambulance finally arrived at 2 p.m., and Donna Gilby was rushed to Prince Charles hospital in Merthyr Tydfil. Unfortunately, she suffered a heart attack and died at the hospital.
Rip donna gilby this is so so sad thinking of her beautiful daughter and family at this time ♡
Posted by Hannah Louise on Wednesday, December 18, 2019
“We still can’t really believe it. She was as good as gold and always put others before herself — she’d do anything for anyone. As a result, she put her own problems second, like the fact that she’d struggled with her weight and ill-health for years.”
In a statement, The Welsh Ambulance apologized for the delay and expressed their condolences to the family.
Chief Executive Jason Killens said:
“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 grief 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.”
Donna was a mother of an 11-year old girl, and her nephew, James Perkins, a 28-year-old construction worker, explained that his thoughts were now centered on her daughter. He added that the death of Donna shocked them all, but they are now focused on the poor little girl, adding that they are “a strong family unit and she’ll be well looked after”.