Brian Sowerby from County Durham has been speaking to ITV News about his disappointment that he was failed by the NHS 111 service.
He rang the 111 telephone number after a serious lung infection made it difficult for him to breathe, but says that he was questioned for 45 minutes - before he hung up.
He also says that a paramedic did not arrive for an hour.
A spokesperson from the region’s 12 clinical commissioning groups, who commission the NHS 111 and ambulance service for the North East, have released the following statement in response to Mr Sowerby's complaint.
"We are really sorry that Mr Sowerby did not feel he received a good service from the local NHS.
"We hope that Mr Sowerby’s condition has improved and he is feeling better. If he wishes to have the incident looked at more formally, we would advise Mr Sowerby to contact either the ambulance service or his local clinical commissioning group who can respond to him personally.
"As commissioners of these services we welcome any feedback and would always undertake a review of concerns that are raised by patients and the public. "
More top news
The Black Cats defender will make his return from injury against in the Cumbrians on Tuesday night in the Carabao Cup.
They were jogging through Eslington Park when they were confronted by a group of around six teenage boys.