Grandmother, 58, died ‘alone and curled up on the floor’ while waiting more than five hours for an ambulance ‘after coughing up blood’ despite living just five minutes from hospital, family say
- Rachel Rose Gibson was ‘neglected’ when she died at her home in Wrexham
- Her daughter, Nikita, said it haunts her ‘to know she died alone in so much pain’
A grandmother died ‘alone and curled up on the floor’ while waiting more than five hours for an ambulance – despite living five minutes from hospital, her family say.
Rachel Rose Gibson, 58, was ‘neglected by emergency services’ when she died at her home in Wrexham, Wales, according to loved ones.
Family say the grandmother-of-seven had called an ambulance at 4pm on Wednesday April 5 as she was coughing up blood and in chronic pain.
However, by the time an ambulance arrived at 9:30pm she had sadly passed away.
One of Rachel’s two daughters, Nikita, 29, said the circumstances of her mothers death ‘haunts’ her and has made it difficult for their family to ‘grieve properly’.
Rachel Rose Gibson, pictured with one of her grandchildren, died ‘alone and curled up on the floor’ while waiting more than five hours for an ambulance
The 58-year-old grandmother-of-seven had called an ambulance at 4pm on Wednesday April 5 as she was coughing up blood and in chronic pain
‘Considering she was spewing up blood she should’ve been a priority,’ she said.
‘She only lives five minutes away from the hospital, but must’ve been in too much pain to get into a taxi.
‘She was lying on the floor curled up in a blanket – she must’ve been in so much pain.
‘It haunts me to know she died alone in so much pain. I feel like I can’t fully grieve because I’m so angry at what’s happened.
‘I feel like it’s not urgent enough to the ambulance service. She was neglected and left alone to die. They should’ve been there.’
Nikita said herself and her sister, Andrea, 39, have been deeply affected by their mothers ‘shocking’ death.
She also added that her mother had no previous physical health conditions.
They are awaiting blood test results to confirm her cause of death, but Nikita said she had been told it may have been a heart attack.
One of Rachel’s daughters, Nikita, pictured with her son, said ‘considering she was spewing up blood she should’ve been a priority’
Rachel’s other daughter, Andrea, 39, said she has been deeply affected by her mothers ‘shocking’ death
Ambulance crews spent over 700 hours outside hospitals across Wales waiting to hand patients over to our hospital colleagues on the day Rachel died.
‘It’s disgusting that we are literally using ambulances as waiting rooms,’ Nikita said.
‘Why can they send billions of pounds to Ukraine but not to our NHS hospitals and emergency services? They don’t know how long she was dead for when they arrives, but her face was red which means it must have been a while.
‘My mum was a generous, loving woman. She was in need. She should have been a priority and they should have come to help as soon as possible, not five-and-a-half hours later.’
Nikita has since started a fundraiser to help pay for her mums funeral costs.
Liam Williams, executive director of quality and nursing at the Welsh Ambulance Service has issued a statement following Ms Gibson’s death.
He said: ‘We would like to extend our sincere condolences to the Gibson family at this difficult time, and we would like to invite the family to contact us directly, so that we can work with them to ensure a full investigation is carried out.
Ms Gibson, who lived in Wrexham, Wales, is pictured with one of her seven grandchildren
‘On April 5 2023, our ambulance crews spent over 700 hours outside hospitals across Wales waiting to hand patients over to our hospital colleagues, which in turn meant that our ambulances couldn’t respond to those waiting in the community.
‘We are working hard with health board colleagues and Welsh Government to find solutions to the long waits at emergency departments in order to release our crews to respond, but these issues are complex and not easily fixed.’
Michelle Greene, East integrated Health Community Director at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, added: ‘Our Emergency Department remains extremely busy, and we apologise that this is resulting in longer waiting times than we would like, despite the best efforts of our nursing and medical staff.
‘We continue to face challenges to discharge patients from hospital to suitable accommodation or care services.
‘We are also working with the Welsh Ambulance Service to ensure sufficient ambulances are available to respond to calls in the community.’
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