A Blackpool man has been left in a coma after waiting two-and-a-half hours for an ambulance.
Lee McMaster, 44, said he was left in ‘shock’ after finding his husband, Jay, 36, ‘upstairs collapsed on the bathroom floor’ earlier this month.
Lee told LancsLive that Jay had suffered from ‘previous bleeds a couple of years back’ and was considered ‘vulnerable’ before he suffered a bleed on the brain on September 14.
Jay works for Blackpool Promotions as a Hotel manager, and is described by Lee as a hardworking ‘nice guy’ that he considers his ‘soulmate’ having been together for 10 and a half years.
Lee said he called an ambulance as soon as he found Jay collapsed, but was reportedly told that an ambulance would be there in ‘one hour 15 minutes’.
Lee claims it ‘took three hours’ for the ambulance to arrive, and five attempts of calling 999.
He said the first call took place at 8.30pm and the ambulance arrived at around 11pm to their home in Blackpool.
North West Ambulance Service has apologised and said that a full investigation will take place.
“‘He was clutching his head in pain,’ Lee said, ‘And in the last half hour he started really fitting. When the ambulance did arrive, the crew were fantastic.”
Lee claims that whilst he was assisted on the phone, he was eventually told that the operator would have to disconnect to take other calls. Whilst Lee said Jay was breathing, he was continuing to be ‘screaming out due to the pressure on his head’.
Lee said: “He wasn’t prioritised at all, and it was only on the fifth call that they managed to get an ambulance to him. By that time he was rushed to Preston hospital and he’s been in a coma since, they tried to bring him round yesterday but because of where the bleed is, it’s massive.”
Since Jay has been in hospital, Lee said it has been ‘horrendous’.
He added: “Why wasn’t he prioritised and why are we waiting three hours for an emergency on the brain?” I just don’t understand it, it makes me so angry that he had to go so long.”
He added: “By each call, he was getting worse, and they said they had prioritised him but nobody was coming.”
Lee said the fifth operative stayed ‘on the line’ until the ambulance arrived, ‘they were telling me what to do in regards to the fitting’.
Lee told LancsLive: “It needs to be taken as seriously as somebody whose not breathing or somebody whose had a heart attack because the damage now is that he has irreversible brain damage due to the size of the haemorrhage.”
Jay has been in hospital for 17 days at the time of writing and Lee has been unable to visit due to restrictions.
Lee said: “It’s really difficult. People say to me, you should have said he wasn’t breathing, but I was trying to be as honest as possible. The pain was in his head, I’m not going to fabricate something.”
A North West Ambulance Service spokesperson said. “We apologise for the delay in attending to Mr McMaster, and our thoughts are with his family and friends during what must be a very worrying time for them. We do hope he makes a full recovery
“We can confirm we have received a formal complaint from his family, and we are now investigating the incident. The outcome of the investigation will be shared and discussed with them once complete.”