Harrowing 999 calls reveals mother, 56, screaming 'I'm going to die' as she waits for ambulance

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Akshay Patel with his mother Bina Patel

Akshay Patel with his mother Bina Patel

Harrowing 999 calls reveal how a mother screamed ‘I’m going to die’ while she waited an hour for an ambulance that came too late to save her life. 

Newly released tapes have shed light on the tragic final moments of Bina Patel, 56, as her son Akshay Patel, 28, made six desperate calls to the emergency services for help in the early hours of October 11.

Akshay can be heard telling ambulance call handlers that his mother, from Ashton-under-Lyne in Tameside, Greater Manchester, was ‘struggling’ to breathe after she woke up screaming his name in the early hours of the morning.

In calls that follow, he describes how her situation is ‘critical’ only to be told that he may have to wait ‘one and a half hours’ for an ambulance as the service is ‘busy’. 

He later says his mother’s mouth has ‘gone all-white’ and pleads for immediate assistance but emergency service personnel just tell him that ‘help’ is on its way.

After Mrs Patel collapses and becomes unresponsive, her heartbroken son can be heard venting his fury that an ambulance didn’t arrive in time to save her.

He tells call handlers: ‘I rang an hour ago for an ambulance as she had difficulty breathing, and now she’s dead. She’s f***ing dead.

‘My mum’s dead, thank you for the ambulance. Appreciate it.’

When paramedics finally arrived at 3:27am, almost an hour after Akshay’s initial call, they tried to revive Mrs Patel, but their attempts sadly failed.

She had first suffered from a blockage in her heart, which caused a stroke and then a heart attack, a horrific series of events which Akshay had to heart-wrenchingly watch.

Four months on, Akshay says he now hopes to meet with health secretary Sajid Javid to discuss how changes to the NHS could save more lives in the future.

Newly released tapes have shed light on the tragic final moments of Bina Patel, 56, as her son Akshay Patel, 28, made six desperate calls to the emergency services for help in the early hours of October 11

Newly released tapes have shed light on the tragic final moments of Bina Patel, 56, as her son Akshay Patel, 28, made six desperate calls to the emergency services for help in the early hours of October 11

He said: ‘The [ambulance] crew that came, the people that work for the organisation, they do an amazing job. But the overall structure, the way it’s been set up, and the way the money kind of trickles down is wrong.’

He added: ‘Once we were clapping for the NHS throughout Covid. Now, me personally, can I clap for it? Can I trust them? No, I can’t.’

AMBULANCE SERVICE: ‘WE CAN NEVER SAY SORRY ENOUGH’ 

Speaking in response to Akshay’s comments, a North West Ambulance Service spokesperson said: ‘In this case, we can never say sorry enough. The amount of time it took for help to arrive is unacceptable and not how we want to care for our patients.

‘The exceptional demand we have faced has proved highly challenging and has regularly seen resources over-stretched even though we have taken steps to mitigate this.

‘We have employed private and volunteer ambulance services and redeployed care assistants from our Patient Transport Service (PTS) to drive ambulances alongside clinical colleagues.

‘In fact, our records show that the local area was over-resourced on the 11th October 2021 according to our planned levels of provision, but unexpected demand on that day simply outstripped capacity.

‘We are committed to learning and implementing changes in our processes as a result of this incident.

‘However, while we understand it will be of little comfort to her family, we want to make clear no human error led to the delay faced by Mrs Patel.’

Akshay, who had shared a home with his mother in Ashton-Under-Lyne, said he realised she was unwell when she shouted for him at 2:15am on October 11, last year.   

Mrs Patel, who worked in her town’s Asda as a cashier for 15 years, had been out to meet friends in Leicester on October 10 before returning home and heading to bed. 

When Akshay spoke to call handlers, he said his mother was ‘finding it difficult to breathe’ and had ‘flu-like symptoms’, thinking an ambulance would be sent quickly.

But after 20 minutes passed without any sign of the emergency services, he called again only to be informed that the wait time might be ‘one and a half hours.’

In the background of his subsequent calls to the emergency services, his mother can be heard screaming out: ‘Hurry up, I’m dying!’

Recalling the events of that terrible night, Akshay said: ‘I looked at my mum, and I couldn’t tell her, ”Mum, it’s going to be an hour and a half.”

‘I tried my best to stand her up, to try and get her downstairs and into a car to take her to the hospital.

‘She couldn’t stand up. She was falling back on the bed to the point where I was holding her upright to make sure she didn’t fall again. ‘She was just panicking and panicking for help.’

He added: ‘The only way I can describe it is, imagine someone holding you underwater. There’s not much you can do.’

In later conversations with emergency call handlers, Akshay tells them his mother’s condition is ‘getting critical’.

At one point he says: ‘The patient’s mouth has gone all white. She’s probably going to die’ but is told the ambulance service is ‘extremely busy’ and experiencing ‘delays.’

Over the phone, he’s heard saying: ‘We logged a call half an hour ago. She can’t breathe at all.’

‘She’s not been able to breathe for the past hour. She’s struggling.’

The call handler responds ”I’m organising that help for you now” but gives no indication as to the time when an ambulance will arrive.

Following later investigations, Akshay said he now doesn’t believe that his first four calls were ‘taken seriously’ by call handlers.

He said: ‘It was on the sixth call, when she stopped breathing – that’s when an ambulance was despatched.’

Mrs Patel's distress could be heard in recordings of two of the 999 calls, which Ashkay requested from NWAS

Mrs Patel's distress could be heard in recordings of two of the 999 calls, which Ashkay requested from NWAS

Mrs Patel’s distress could be heard in recordings of two of the 999 calls, which Ashkay requested from NWAS

‘Five minutes after that call, that’s when an ambulance came to the address.’

When paramedics finally arrived at 3:27am, almost an hour after Akshay’s initial call, they tried to revive Mrs Patel, but their attempts sadly failed.

She had first suffered from a blockage in her heart, which caused a stroke and then a heart attack, a horrific series of events which Akshay had to heart-wrenchingly watch.

He said: ‘I witnessed the blockage when she was screaming and shouting.

‘I witnessed the stroke when she was panicking, and I witnessed the heart attack when she fell on the floor.

‘No one in the world should witness that.’

Akshay now hopes to have a meeting with Sajid Javid, who he wants to help him find those accountable for his mum’s death.

He said: ‘I’m going to make sure [Javid] listens to these calls, and he can tell me his thoughts on what he thinks about them.’

‘I will tell him someone needs to be put accountable for her death.

‘I want him to get those people to me, for them to give me a personal apology and tell me what they’re going to change.

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