Suffolk man waits 12 hours for ambulance after suffering stroke

David Gardener had to wait 12 hours for an ambulance after suffering a stroke. Picture: Sarah Lucy

David Gardener had to wait 12 hours for an ambulance after suffering a stroke - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

An Ipswich man had to wait 12 hours for an ambulance to arrive after suffering a stroke at his home.

David Gardener was at home by himself on a Friday evening when he realised he felt very ill and his speech was slurred, so he decided to call the emergency services.

The 64-year-old didn't want to take any risks with his health, especially as a type 2 diabetic who has suffered two mild heart attacks and has a pacemaker.

David Gardener had to wait 12 hours for an ambulance after suffering a stroke. Picture: Sarah Lucy

David Gardener was told to say up and wait for the ambulance - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

He called the ambulance around 7pm on September 24, but an ambulance didn't arrive until 7am the next day.

"Don't go to bed, stay up and leave the light on," David said he was told.

"Half past 11 came and I said I want to go to bed I want to cancel it. They said no, it should be on it's way.

"It still didn't come. two o'clock I decided to go to bed. Seven o'clock there was a knock on the door, a responder had come."

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The first responder who arrived was apparently angry that David hadn't been much sooner, as he was a 'category 2'.

Category 2 is someone in a serious condition, such as stroke or chest pain and 90% of all incidents in this category are responded to in 40 minutes.

When he arrived in the hospital he was told he had a mild stroke and he had to spend the next four and half days in hospital.

An East of England Ambulance Service spokesperson said:  "We are currently experiencing an extremely high demand for our services and each patient is triaged in terms of highest clinical need. This means that some patients had longer waits and we would like to apologise for any additional stress that this caused.   

"The patient was contacted by one of our clinicians to check on his condition, and the case was periodically reviewed while waiting for an ambulance to become available.”

David Gardener had to wait 12 hours for an ambulance after suffering a stroke. Picture: Sarah Lucy

David has been doing physio regularly in the weeks since his stroke - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

David didn't even realise he'd had a stroke at the time, but several weeks later he is still weak on his left side and is having physio done.

His ability to work has been impacted, he can only do light duty at his job as a passenger assistant on a bus for children with disabilities.

David believes stress might have caused the stroke.

Currently David is feeling better, with a friendly neighbour and his family visiting him regularly and he is focused on his recovery so he can return to full duties at his job.

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