A NINETY-ONE-year-old was forced to wait more than two hours for an ambulance after falling at her Fishtoft home.
Kathleen Ruck was left lying on the floor for such a long time that her family arrived from Peterborough before the ambulance – beating the paramedic by 25 minutes.
The elderly woman, who lived alone, has been so affected by the incident that she will not be able to return to the home she has lived in for almost 30 years.
Mrs Ruck’s son Stephen said: “When we got into the bungalow we met with total dismay and horror and found my mother still lying on the floor where she fell at 11am. She was in severe pain and was very distressed. To find my mother in this state – shocked and crying – I found very distressing. My mother could have died waiting.”
When Mrs Ruck fell she pressed her lifeline pendant to call for help from somebody at Mayflower, who called for the ambulance. A member of staff at the housing association called to check on the ambulance three times before it finally arrived after two hours and 40 minutes.
Mrs Ruck, who was not taken to hospital after her fall, has been staying with her son and his partner Lorraine Wardle since the incident. She has since been taken to hospital in Peterborough because of health concerns.
She will not be able to return to Boston, where she was born and bred.
Mr Ruck said: “She’s lived in Boston for most of her life. It’s very traumatic for her. My mother is a very independent woman. She has managed on her own for all these years and should be commended. The one time she needed somebody the ambulance service was not there for her.”
A spokesman for East Midlands Ambulance Service said the service was dealing with a lot of emergency calls at the time of Mrs Ruck’s fall.
He added: “We regret that on this occasion we were unable to respond to the call as quickly as normal and we would like to apologise to Kathleen and her family for the inconvenience and distress this caused.”