A mother died after waiting nearly two hours for an ambulance, before her nine-year-old daughter spent hours desperately trying to wake her up.
Victoria Louisa Maame Yamphet, 40, died at home in Dagenham, east London, last week after complaining of stomach pain as her terrified daughters, aged nine and 18, watched on.
Her daughter Emmanuela, 18, said her mother came home with a flu on Sunday, January 8, before her condition rapidly declined.
‘My mum complained about her ribs and belly hurting. I offered to call an ambulance because she isn’t really a sick person and I knew it was bad,’ Emmanuela said.
Victoria Louisa Maame Yamphet, 40, died in her home in Dagenham, east London, last week, in front of her terrified daughters aged 9 and 18
Her daughter Emmanuela (right), 18, said her mother came home with a flu on Sunday, January 8, and rapidly declined (pictured from right: Emmanuela, nine-year-old Emily, her mother Maame and her half-sister Priscilla)
During the night, Maame, as she was known to friends and family, became sicker, and at 6.09am on Tuesday, January 10, her daughter called for an ambulance.
Emmanuela (pictured) called the ambulance service four times before paramedics reached her mother, but it was too late. She said: ‘She just stopped breathing in front of me and my little sister. ‘I put her in a recovery position, I did CPR on her. I called the ambulance screaming and crying for them to get here quicker’
Emmanuela was initially told the ambulance was six to ten minutes away, but 20 minutes later there was still no sign of it.
The nationwide ambulance strike began the next day on January 11.
‘I called again and all of a sudden it was an hour wait’, she said.
‘I told them my mum can’t wait that long. I was in distress because I didn’t know what to do.’
She was told at 7.15am – more than an hour after her first call – that a taxi would be sent to her house to take her mother to the hospital.
‘Before the taxi got to us, her pain got worse. She just stopped breathing in front of me and my little sister,’ Emmanuela said.
‘I put her in a recovery position. I did CPR on her. I called the ambulance screaming and crying for them to get here quicker.
‘They literally got here within a minute, and it made me feel like when I really need them to come, they can, but they didn’t until I started screaming and crying.
‘When they came, they did everything they could but it was a bit too late. Because my mother was left for an hour and 45 minutes to be in pain, sadly … she didn’t make it.
‘She suffered from cardiac arrest due to her not being able to breathe properly.’
Maame, the name she went by, worked as a support worker for over 20 years. Her daughter said: ‘It’s very unfair. My mum was a support worker, she always looked after people, but when it was her turn, she wasn’t taken care of’
Maame, the name she went by, worked as a support worker for over 20 years. Her daughter said: ‘It’s very unfair. My mum was a support worker, she always looked after people, but when it was her turn, she wasn’t taken care of.’
The young woman said on top of her disappointment in the ambulance service, she was very distressed when her mother’s body was left at the house with her and her nine-year-old sister Emily for six hours.
She said: ‘My little sister was on the floor next to our mum the whole time. She was crying, shaking her and trying to wake her up.’
Their father, who works in the NHS, rushed home to his partner and children and when he was told his partner ‘didn’t make it, he literally started breaking down’, his daughter said.
Maame’s daughters, who are both receiving councelling via their schools, are currently staying with their aunt Sally Andrews in south London as she doesn’t want her nieces to stay where their mother died.
Dr Fenella Wrigley, Chief Medical Officer for London Ambulance Service, said:
‘We are deeply sorry for the delay in responding to Mrs Yamphet.
‘We are investigating our response to this 999 call and the care provided, and as part of this thorough review, will contact Mrs Yamphet’s family to understand the circumstances of this incident.
‘On behalf of London Ambulance Service, I offer my sincere condolences to the family and loved ones of Mrs Yamphet.’
The cause of Mrs Yamphet’s death is yet to be determined. In the meantime, her daugher Emmanuela has set up a fundraising page for her mother’s funeral: ‘We want to give her a befitting burial’, she said.