Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson has demanded a meeting with North West Ambulance Service after a cancer sufferer from Thornton who suffered a brain seizure waited for over an hour for an ambulance - only to be taken to hospital by her distraught husband in a taxi after paramedics failed to arrive.
Mum of five Jackie Wright was out with her family enjoying a meal at Rushtons Garden Centre cafe on Tuesday, July 31. Her family was treating her after she had been going through a tough year.
The 48-year-old, who already suffered from asthma and diabetes, had been diagnosed with lung cancer six months earlier and was under treatment when she suffered a seizure at the cafe.
At 3.08pm the family called for an ambulance and received assurances that one would be with them immediately.
But half-an-hour later they received a call from the ambulance service apologising for the delay with assurances that help would be with them shortly. Another 30 minutes later and husband Ron decided they had waited long enough.
In pouring rain they pushed Jackie in her wheelchair back to the family home.
Ron called a local GP, but was told they couldn't get anyone out for another hour. He then took Jackie to Aintree Hospital himself in a taxi. They got to the hospital at around 5pm - nearly two hours after Jackie suffered the seizure.
She was kept in and after tests was told the cancer had spread to her brain, causing the seizure.
Ron turned to Bill Esterson to raise his concerns about his wife's treatment.
He told Bill: "It was really horrible. Jackie was having this seizure and we just didn't know what the hell to do. So we called the ambulance who said they would be with us as soon as they could. We didn't for one second think that we would still be waiting more than an hour later.
"We were at the cafe to get the family together because Jackie had been through so much. It was a family treat.
"As time went on, Jackie wasn't getting any better. I wasn't just concerned for Jackie, I was also concerned for the whole family, including our 12-year-old granddaughter Megan who looked terrified. She'd not seen anything like this before.
"The longer it went on, the more concerned we all became, but still the ambulance didn't come. Then about 30 minutes later we got a call from them apologising and saying they were on their way. But again, nothing came.
"After waiting for over an hour for the ambulance we decided to push Jackie home in her wheelchair, in the rain. When we got home, the doctor said it would be another hour before we could be seen, so I decided to phone a taxi to get her to the hospital. We couldn't wait any longer.
"I just couldn't believe it. It was totally disgusting.
"The hospital did their tests and have now found that the seizure was caused because the cancer had spread to Jackie's brain. For all we know, she could have died waiting for that ambulance.
"I am really disgusted at what Jackie went through because of the ambulance service.
"And if this happened to Jackie, how many other people is this happening to?"
The couple's 16-year-old son Craig plays in a Scottish pipe band which regularly raises money for Aintree Hospital.
Craig, who has recently left Chesterfield High and will be starting a Uniform Services course at Hugh Baird in the new term, told the MP: "It was the most frightening thing I have seen in my life. I thought mum was going to die right there in the cafe
"My 12-year-old niece was horrified to witness her grandmother in this state and then for her to be left waiting for over an hour for any help.
"It was a horrible experience for all of us, but more so for mum. We just didn't know what was wrong with her.
"The ambulance service called to apologise. But apologies to me were not enough as, my mum's life is more important."
Back at the family home, Jackie said she was concerned at what her family had been put through.
Jackie said: "I can't remember much about what happened. But I do know that my family were terrified for me. That's not right and it shouldn't happen ever again."
Ronald thanked the staff at Rushtons Garden Centre for all their help.
He said: "I can't praise the staff at the garden centre enough. They were really helpful. We would all like to say a big thank you to them all."
Bill Esterson said North West Ambulance Service had some serious questions to answer.
Bill said: "It is shocking just what Jackie and her family went through. Jackie is already not in the best of health so this ordeal must have been traumatic for each and every one of them.
"This is not the first time I have had to ask North West Ambulance Service for answers after my constituents had been let down, in fact I am compiling a catalogue of complaints against them in recent months alone.
"In one incident a 75-year-old man waited nearly 90 minutes for an ambulance after being knocked down on a zebra crossing just yards from Formby ambulance station.
"And in another, a 79-year-old woman lay in a pool of blood for 80 minutes waiting for an ambulance after smashing her head open after falling down stairs at her care home in Maghull.
"This is not good enough for a service where minutes matter and where each call can be life or death.
"I will be asking the service chief executive why they are failing the people of Sefton Central, whether the Tory-Lib Dem Government's policy of cutting vital frontline emergency services is having an impact on the service they can provide and I will be after assurances that no one else will have to go through what Jackie and her family have gone through again."