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Ambulance company ‘killed my wife’ after emergency team turned up 16 hours after first call

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 05/12/2022 Will Bolton
Teresa and Matthew Simpson - SWNS © SWNS Teresa and Matthew Simpson - SWNS

A widower has accused an ambulance service of  “killing his wife” after it took 16 hours for paramedics to arrive. 

Matthew Simpson’s wife, Teresa, 54, died on Nov 30 from a cardiac arrest after she went into a diabetic hypoglycemia, which starved her brain of oxygen.

Mr Simpson, 47, said she would 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 said he pulled the cord after his wife, who suffered from muscle weakening disease Myotonic Dystrophy and diabetes, became confused.

The couple, from Hull, East Yorks, were told three hours after initially pulling the cord, that an ambulance couldn’t be sent for a couple of hours.

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, seemingly lifeless.

Full-time carer

Mr Simpson, who was a full-time carer for his wife, then rang 999 while trying to resuscitate her.

An ambulance finally arrived a short while later - 16 hours after he first raised the alarm. 

Mrs Simpson was taken to Hull Royal Infirmary and put on life support, but just a couple of hours later, she was pronounced dead. 

Mr Simpson 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.”

Official complaint

Mr Simpson said he has made an official complaint to the Yorkshire Ambulance Service but it will take up to 55 days for the investigation to be completed.

Mr Simpson 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.

“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.”

Mr Simpson paid tribute to his “wonderful” wife of 24 years, describing her as an “outstanding wife and my first love”.

A Yorkshire Ambulance Service spokesman said it offered its sincere condolences to Mr Simpson and would contact him regarding his complaint.

They added: “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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