Plea for action from devastated mother

Pictured is Judy Gardner
Pictured is Judy Gardner

A grieving mother whose son died from pneumonia has spoken of the trauma of waiting over four hours for an ambulance to get her child to hospital.

Now Judy Gardner, who watched her 44-year-old son die, has joined calls for a better ambulance service.

Mrs Gardener said her son, Martin, was made to wait in pain for an ambulance at his home in Woodford Halse.

Mr Gardner had been experiencing chest pain and made a doctor’s appointment. Mrs Gardner said: “On arrival the doctor called for an ambulance and sent Martin home to wait. This was at 5pm.”

The ambulance should have arrived within two hours but Mr Gardner did not arrive at the Horton Hospital, Banbury, until 9.43pm.

Mrs Gardner added: “I just don’t understand why it took so long. It’s disgusting.”

Mr Gardner died on January 11 two days after going into hospital and leaving behind a 15-year-old son.

Mrs Gardner said: “I am absolutely devastated. Martin was a happy friendly man and was close to his family. I’ve been waking up at 4am most nights just crying.

“To lose my son is awful and 44 is nothing of an age to die.”

Mrs Gardner is now calling for a better ambulance service in the district as the East Midlands Ambulance Service plan to close the station in Staverton Road, Daventry, as part of a shake up of the service.

Cllr Wendy Randall, who is apposed to the EMAS plans, said: “This highlights what is going wrong even before the cuts , the question is how will we cope without any service in this area at all?”

Karlie Thompson, divisional director for EMAS covering Northamptonshire, said: “We offer our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr Gardner.”

Ms Thompson said that, after the ambulance was requested: “We telephoned Mr Gardner’s home to check his condition. We received a further call confirming his condition had deteriorated. The call then became categorized as an emergency and the next available ambulance was sent to his home. I am sorry for the distress and anxiety the delay in our response will have caused. We have not been contacted by Mr Gardner’s family but would welcome the opportunity to speak to them.”