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Family of deceased woman who waited 40 minutes for ambulance want answers

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The family of a woman who passed away in Happy Valley-Goose Bay after waiting 40 minutes for an ambulance want answers.
“There’s a lot more to this story than just waiting 40 minutes, a hell of a lot more,” said Carson Swain, son in law of the woman who passed. “She was left on the floor here for hours, the kitchen floor, left there because the ambulance couldn’t take her. We had to wait for the funeral home to come get her and they just left her on the floor.”
Swain said after the initial call they called three more times and the third time a fire truck was dispatched to show the ambulance where their house was. His mother in law was living with him and his wife when the incident happened.
“When the fire department got a call to come down here they were here in three minutes. He saw the ambulance parked on the side of the road and waved them down here,” he said. “It was parked on Hamilton River Road and we’re on Montagnais. They didn’t know where they were going.”
The issue of slow response times has been going on for some time in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and Swain wants to know why it took a death to bring about change. Since the incident the contract with the provider, Labrador Ambulance Services, has been terminated and more paramedics and ambulances have been dispatched to the town.
“This has been going on for a long time and it takes a death to bring about changes? It’s just not good enough,” he said. “There’s a lot of unanswered questions here. It should have been taken care of when we had those other incidents but nothing was done, not a thing. Somebody is accountable for this, I’m pursuing this and I’m not going to let up. I want a public inquiry, why are all these incidents happening for the last couple of years and nothing got done.”
Swain said when his mother in law collapsed his wife ran out into the road and two neighbours, one a paramedic and another who worked at the hospital, performed CPR on his mother in law, who still had a pulse.
“They did CPR on her for about half an hour and according to them she had a pulse for a while,” he told the Labradorian.  “When I got home from work after 10 I came in and asked how it was going and they said there’s no pulse. And still we waited and waited. Those two people never let up giving her CPR.”
He said they were told there would not be an autopsy performed, unless the family pays for it themselves, since she had a family history of heart trouble. This also leads him to question what happened the day prior, when his mother in law went to the hospital with respiratory problems and was sent home with an inhaler.
Swain said right now he’s looking for accountability. Accountability for why it took so long for the ambulance to arrive, why she was sent home from the hospital the day before and why it took this incident to break the camel’s back and get the contract terminated.
“It’s a little too late for her. I just want the story to get out there, for people to know what happened, what our family went through and hopefully it will never happen to another family.”

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