This could have been a matter of life and death, says heart attack victim Margaret
Heart attack victim Margaret on how ‘ridiculous’ roadworks could have cost lives
A heart-attack patient from Alexandria who endured a 53-mile round trip to three different hospitals fears she wouldn’t be alive if she had been caught up in the weekend’s traffic chaos.
Former coronary care nurse Margaret Fisher fell seriously ill the previous weekend and an ambulance was sent to her Beechwood home to take her to the Vale Hospital.
Her blood was sent in a taxi from the Vale to the Royal Alexandra in Paisley before she was transferred to Greenock’s Inverclyde Royal then the Golden Jubilee in Clydebank. Grandmother Margaret (right) spoke out about the “ridiculous” roadworks and added: “If what had happened to me the previous week had happened to anybody at the weekend there, they would have died. “It doesn’t bear thinking about.”
A former coronary care nurse has told how she watched in horror at a vi deo showing an ambulance struggle to get through traffic — j ust a week af t er she went on the same j ourney while suffering a heart attack.
Margaret Fisher spoke out about the “ridiculous” roadworks which caused chaos in and around Dumbarton at the weekend.
The Beech wood mum fears that, if she had been experiencing the same life- threatening symptoms a week later, she would have died in the back of an ambulance as traffic completely blocked the road.
The 61-year-old said: “The video of the ambulance trying to go through on the bypass got my attention. It just couldn’t get through.
“It ’s bad enough having a heart attack. You are panicking anyway, but it must be dreadful if you can hear the sirens going and you are stuck in traffic. If what had happened tome the previous week had happened to anybody at the weekend there, they would have died.
“By the time I got to Inverclyde last Sunday, it would have been about lunch time—and that’ s when it was gridlocked. It doesn’t bear thinking about.”
Grandmother Margaret, who stays with her husband Ian, started feeling unwell on Saturday, October 21 experiencing palpitations, chest pain and dizziness.
The former nurse, who worked at the Vale hospital for 34 years, woke the following morning with the same symptoms and called NHS 24 expecting to be told to go to the GP out- ofhours unit at the Alexandria hospital to see a doctor. But she was about to be sent on a 53- mile round trip incorporating three different hospitals.
She recalled: “They said: ‘ You have chest pains. I am sending an ambulance’. They were there within 20 minutes and took me to the Vale.
“They hooked me up to the monitor and said they were going to have to take bloods, but it would take two hours to get them to Paisley.
“You’re lying with chest pain while your blood is in a taxi going to Paisley. It’s absolutely crazy.”
Margaret, who worked in coronary care, high dependency and the A& E units locally, started feeling worse as it was confirmed she had a heart attack and would have to be transferred to a coronary care unit.
There were no beds at Paisley’s Royal Alexandra Hospital and Margaret asked medics to see if she could be taken to the Golden Jubilee in Clydebank, where she also used to work.
Margaret was told Inverclyde was next in line and, after that, they would have to contact the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.
She added: “I am still lying there with chest pains. The Golden Jubilee is just 10 minutes up the road.”
A bed was secured at Inverclyde and Margaret was transferred to the Greenock hospital but took a turn for the worse and the ambulance had to switch on its blue lights to make sure they got to the unit in time.
She said: “I got to Inverclyde and was admitted to the coronary care unit. I was there for two days and they decided to send me to the Golden Jubilee. If they had taken me straight there on Sunday, that would have saved at least 48 hours and two ambulances.”
Margaret was released from the Clydebank hospital after undergoing further tests and has been recovering at home since.
Speaking about events at the weekend, she added: “When all t hat happened with the traffic, I thought if that had been last week, how long does the oxygen last in the back of the ambulance?
“I could have ran out of oxygen in the back of the ambulance trying to get to hospital.”
Margaret worked in the Vale between 1979 and 2003 before spending five years at Paisley. She took a career break and joined the Golden Jubilee in 2015 for a year and a half but now works in a care home in Glasgow.
Speaking about the Vale and her reasons for leaving, she said: “I could see t he writing was on the wall. They were chipping away at what was there. I was a sister in high dependency and they were talking about doing away with it.
“They were shutting departments down and staff were getting moved not necessarily to an area they wanted to work in.
“I feel really strongly about it. It’s really sad seeing what’s happening at the Vale and t he Golden Jubilee has a whole floor which should be utilised.”
It must be dreadful to hear sirens but know that you’re stuck
Trauma Margaret Fisher