‘Everyone should get a chance to live’ – Irishwoman speaks out after no ambulances came when husband collapsed and died at home

‘Everyone should get a chance to live’ – Irishwoman speaks out after no ambulances came when husband collapsed and died at home

A RECENTLY-WIDOWED Irish woman has spoken out about being turned down by ambulance services when her husband collapsed and died at their home last month.

Brid Molloy’s husband Kevin suddenly passed away at their home in Carraroe, Co. Galway just over a fortnight ago.

Kevin’s cause of death at the age of 52 remains unclear as his family continue to wait on the results of a post-mortem.

He collapsed at around 11.39am on January 25, which was when his wife made a call to the National Ambulance Service (NAS).

Mrs Molloy, who was briefly able to resuscitate her husband using CPR, was told that an ambulance was too far away.

NAS then called South Connemara GP Peter Sloane and sent him out to the emergency, where he found Mrs Molloy performing “very effective” CPR on the deceased.

Tragically, Kevin stopped breathing and died at around 1.15pm.

Speaking to Sean O'Rourke on RTÉ Radio One, Dr Sloane said attempts to save Mr Molloy’s life were doomed without paramedics

"With all the the best will in the world a single-handed, well trained GP cannot provide the degree of resuscitative care that trained paramedics can," he said.

"Community first-responders simply can't do as good a job. If an ambulance arrives with trained paramedics, it's at least two sets of hands, they have more equipment, they have an ambulance.

"I was very angry at the fact that as a taxpayer and a local, when I might need an ambulance myself – or my family, or anybody else in this community – that we pay taxes and we should be entitled to have an emergency service that is available to us”.

He added: "If we look at everything we pay for in the State, our health is one of our most priceless things we have”.

Dr Sloane explained that ambulance cover is so stretched in Ireland that local paramedics often have to attend emergencies hours away.

He said the paramedics who are employed are a credit to their profession but their service is underfunded and understaffed.

"In our hour of need, in a life-threatening emergency, any citizen anywhere in the State should be able to expect an ambulance is available within a judicious time,” he said.

Speaking about her beloved husband’s death, Mrs Molloy said she hopes similar deaths can be avoided in the future.

"Everyone has a right to get a chance to live and I don't want this happening in our area in the near future,” she told Independent.ie.

"[The Government] needs to come up with a plan so no one is left wondering 'when is somebody going to come and help me?'"

In a statement, NAS said: "At the time the call was received, a number of NAS resources were engaged on a number of emergency calls and the nearest available emergency ambulance service was dispatched to the incident and arrived at 12.15pm.

"A second NAS resourced and the emergency aero medical service was also called."