‘I’m going numb, I’m passing out’: Family release harrowing details of 74-year-old grandfather’s last 999 call after he died at home waiting 90 minutes for paramedics while stuck behind a table following fall
- Michael Green became stuck behind a table when a chair collapsed at his home
- His family say they were told Mr Green died as a result of pre-existing condition
- They requested audio of his 999 call, which revealed that operators told him he may have to wait up to four hours to get help
Pictured: Grandfather-of-nine Michael Green
A family were left heartbroken after hearing the tragic last phone call of a grandfather who got stuck behind a table when a chair collapsed – and died after waiting 90 minutes for an ambulance.
Grandfather-of-nine Michael Green, 74, became stuck behind a table after falling at his home in Leicester – leaving him struggling to breathe and unable to call for help with his phone just out of reach.
His family claim they were told that Mr Green had died as a result of a pre-existing medical condition, COPD, but when one of his daughter’s grew suspicious over the cause of death, they requested the audio of his 999 call – and were horrified with what they heard.
The recordings revealed that as Mr Green lay dying, 999 operators told him he might have to wait four hours for help – and by the time an ambulance arrived 90 minutes after his call, he was unconscious, and pronounced dead shortly after.
Now, his devastated daughters have released snippets of his tragic last phonecall in a bid to discover the truth of what happened to their father after not believing the events told to them by East Midlands Ambulance service.
Daughter Julie Green, 53, said: ‘The police knocked the door at around midnight to tell me my father was dead.
‘They took me to my dad’s house, and he was lying dead on the floor.
‘We only found out about him being trapped and choked by a table when requesting the telephone call recording after the funeral.
The recordings revealed that as Mr Green lay dying, 999 operators told him he might have to wait four hours for help (pictured: Michael Green with his daughter Tracey)
His family claim they were told that Mr Green had died as a result of a pre-existing medical condition, COPD (pictured: Michael Green with his daughter Tracey)
‘I think he must have tried to reach for his phone and the table just fell onto him.
‘I think he sort of fell down and got caught on his neck, he had been trapped for five hours.
‘They never did an inquest into his death, they told me that it was down to his pre-existing condition but when we went to see him on the night my daughter’s noticed a big bruise on his neck.
‘Obviously, when we heard that, we remembered the bruise on his neck.’
Until receiving the recording, the family had no idea of the distress Mr Green was in when he called for an ambulance. They have now complained.
At 6.57pm Mr Green can be heard breathing heavily down the phone while talking to the operator (pictured: Michael Green with daughters Tracey, left, and Mandy)
At 6.57pm Mr Green can be heard breathing heavily down the phone while talking to the operator, saying: ‘I’m stuck on a chair; I can’t get up… I have pain all over my stomach… I have pancreatitis and C.O.P.D.’
The operator explains that they won’t be able to get help to Mr Green for another four hours.
Mr Green says: ‘Oh dear, my neck’s going dead, I’m stuck on the chair.
‘I need somebody quick; I have been stuck for five hours.’
The operator replies: ‘Help has been arranged but we prioritise our ambulances to attend the most life-threatening emergencies… we aim to be with you within the next four hours unless we have an available ambulance sooner.’
Pictured left: Michael Green with his daughter Tracey. Right: Michael Green with granddaughter Sadie – Julie’s daughter)
After calming Mr Green, the operator puts the phone down.
At 7.37pm: A second call is made from Mr Green to East Midlands Ambulance Service.
Mr Green said: ‘Hello, I can’t hear you, they reckon the ambulance is going to come in four hours but I’m nearly collapsing now, I’m in that much pain.
‘I can’t hear you pal… I just want someone to pick me up again, the table is sticking in me that much I’m passing out now.
‘I just want somebody to lift me up, I’ve got stuck in the chair, I’ve had a bad day today.
‘Take the pain away… I just want somebody to move me, I can’t… feel like I’m going numb.’
The operator asks Mr Green if he can move the table away from his neck.
Mr Green said: ‘I’ve been trying for hours now, I can’t work it, it’s digging in me.
Paramedics found Mr Green at his Cashmore View home, unresponsive (pictured: Michael Green with his son Ashley)
The operator says he must hang up and take another call, the ambulance arrived at 8.26pm, an hour and 28 minutes after the first emergency call.
Paramedics found Mr Green at his Cashmore View home, unresponsive, and although CPR was performed and a mechanical chest compression device was used, he was pronounced dead at 8:53pm.
Julie said: ‘My dad has been cremated so an inquest can’t happen.
‘The ambulance report said that he was sat, and stuck on a table, naturally I thought he was just sat at a table and couldn’t get up.
‘Thinking about all of that, I think he died because of the restriction of his air ways, which could have been stopped if the operators he spoke to had listened to his call properly and asked the right questions.
Pictured: Michael Green with daughter Julie
‘Once you know he has COPD, can hear him breathlessly talking and has a table pressing against his neck stopping him from breathing – which they knew, when do the right questions get asked.’
‘They’re not apologising to us; they’re not stating their mistake.
‘You could see how hard he grabbed the table; you could see his handprints where he had been trying to get himself up.
‘He’s a strong character, he wouldn’t even call unless he knew he was in trouble.
‘We just want to know the truth so we can move on.’
Ben Holdaway, Director of Operations at East Midlands Ambulance Service said: ‘Representatives from our service have met with the family to personally offer sincere condolences for their sad loss, and to respond to their concerns.
‘I am sorry that we were not able to send an ambulance sooner when Mr Green called for help in September 2018, and I appreciate the distress this has caused his family.
‘A detailed reply to their concerns has been provided in writing and through conversations with them, and our dialogue continues.
‘Whilst it is of no comfort to Mr Green’s family, significant investment by our commissioners announced in May last year has resulted in EMAS being able to address a fundamental gap in resources (staff and vehicles) needed to respond to emergency and urgent calls.
‘The funding allowed the biggest frontline recruitment programme in EMAS’ history with over 200 new, additional colleagues being recruited and trained to join our frontline from the start of this year.
‘Added together with further efficiencies at EMAS and our continued recruitment drive, patient services are improving.
‘We are getting to patients faster, despite an increase in activity and on-going challenges outside of our control that act on our ability to respond – eg hospital handover delays.’