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

Lennox Herald - - FRONT PAGE - Lor­raine Weir

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

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