A 92-year-old diabetic spent nearly 14 hours waiting for an ambulance after falling in his kitchen.
Cyril Pepper was left with severe back pain and damage to his arm after banging his head falling at his home last Monday.
Cyril who used to work on the electricity board for Western Power, had a stroke six years ago and is diabetic, alerted friends after managing to press a care alarm button at his home.
Personal friend and carer Debbie Austin, 59, arrived to Cyril’s home in Silverdale, Staffs., at around 3pm after she received a message from Carecall – a personal care service – at 2.25pm.
Debbie found the Cyril on the floor, near his kitchen, against a radiator, where he was surrounded by blood after trying to stop his fall.
An ambulance was rung at 2pm and didn’t arrive until 4am the following morning – Debbie stayed with Cyril throughout.
According to Debbie, a self-employed cleaner, he was unable to eat and she had to help him go to the toilet whilst still on the floor.
She removed his false teeth to stop him from choking, and was unable to give him painkillers because Cyril had trouble swallowing following a stroke.
Debbie, from Silverdale, Staffs, said: “He was very upset, I noticed he had a bruise on the back off his head which had started to bulge.
“I think he was in shock about what had happened.
“I was contact with the Carecall throughout, and stayed with Cyril throughout to monitor his breathing.
“With his diabetes too, and the damage to the skin he had from his fall, I was concerned. He also has two toes that were infected at the time.
“The district nurse turned at 4pm – she was shocked to see what happened. She looked after his damaged arm. She broke down crying.
“The ambulance arrived at 4am the following morning, it shows the resources are really stretched.
“He went 14 hours without food, and he only wanted sips of water in case he needed the toilet.
“I had to help three times to go the toilet.
“When paramedic arrived, they said they had been really busy and had to prioritise other patients with breathing difficulties.
“I chose to look after him because we have become close friends over the years, he has a step grandson who was in Tenerife at the time. His wife died about 30 years ago. Apart from that, he has no other family around.”
When the paramedics arrived the following morning, they offered their apologies to Cyril and Debbie after ‘having so many call-outs.’
According to Debbie, Cyril refused to go to hospital because he fears if he goes to hospital, he won’t come out again.
Cyril also from Silverdale, Staffs., said: “As soon as I fell, Debbie arrived five or ten minutes later.
“She stayed with me until the very end.
“She is such a close friend to me and I will always be grateful for what she has done for me.
“I was annoyed that I had to wait 14 hours for an ambulance, I have worked all my life as building clerk and for the electricity board.
“I was lying on my back in so much pain. It was horrendous.”
West Midlands Ambulance Service said the trust would like to offer its apologies to him “for the delay in responding”.
A spokesperson for the service stated paramedics in its control room “spoke to the caller with the patient on several occasions to check whether his condition had changed.
“Unfortunately, high levels of demand from people with life-threatening conditions sometimes mean we are not able to respond to incidents as quickly as our patients would want.”
The spokesperson said: “We are working closely with all local health services and NHS England to reduce delays and we continue to bolster frontline and control room staffing as part of a range of measures to help manage the current high levels of demand.”
This content was originally published here.