New questions and concerns have been raised about the death of a Queensland grandmother after three ambulances got lost on the way to her house, despite living five minutes from hospital.
The couple, originally from Emerald, moved to Logan so Diane, who had been suffering severe health issues, could be within five minutes away from a hospital.
However, Stephen claims the move to the Edwards Street, Loganlea address was when they started encountering problems with getting an ambulance.
Experiencing renal failure and being prepared for dialysis, Diane would suffer from rapid fluid build-up around the heart, a condition that could be treated if she was seen to quickly.
“She had those episodes before. The ambos were here on time. They gave her things that caused that fluid to disperse,” Stephen told 9News.
On December 15, Diane had difficulty breathing, prompting Stephen to call triple zero from the Edwards Street address, but the ambulance was sent to Elizabeth Court.
“When they did eventually get her to hospital … she was very near death,” Stephen said.
After time in hospital, Diane was discharged, but on January 2, she again needed an ambulance, which Stephen says got lost as well, prompting him to complain.
“When they took her to the hospital, I accompanied her in the ambulance in the front seat … I saw on their monitor the address they’d been sent to, and it wasn’t this address,” Stephen said.
On February 21, Diane again went downhill, with Stephen calling an ambulance – an ambulance that didn’t arrive on time because it was sent to the wrong address.
“So, she ended up passing away in my arms right there, and I can’t get that vision out of my head,”
Explaining the delays in a statement, Queensland Ambulance said there was no technical issue with the QAS IT system, suggesting the problem was a result of Council mapping – that saw ambulances directed to Elizabeth Court, formerly Edward Court.
“Maps are provided by the relevant local Council to all emergency services on a quarterly basis. The next quarterly update is due to be provided by Council in the next fortnight,” the statement said.
“An Ambulance arrived within 30 minutes of the original call in all three instances,”
Stephen has spoken to a QAS investigator but is angry that he hasn’t seen the report into his wife’s treatment.
“I’ve heard nothing from anyone from anywhere. The health department, the ambulance department, anyone except that investigator,” Stephen said.
A sentiment shared by Queensland’s Liberal Opposition leader David Crisafulli, who voiced his own concerns about Stephen and Diane’s story and the potential of it happening again.
“He deserves honest answers, and he deserves an honest commitment that something is going to be done about it – otherwise, more families are going to suffer the sort of heartbreak he has,” Mr Crisafulli said.