Man feared he would die after no ambulance available following Co Down car crash

A man has spoken of how he feared he was going to die after he was injured in a car crash, but no ambulance was immediately available to attend the scene.

Matthew Abraham, who was suffering from chest pains after the collision, was advised to make his own way to hospital after the accident in Co Down last month.

"I was just in so much pain and I didn't know what to do," Matthew told UTV.

Matthew was helped by an off-duty paramedic who came upon the scene.

The paramedic called for an ambulance but as Matthew's condition wasn't deemed immediately life-threatening he was told it could be at least an hour before an ambulance could attend.

After calling back they were advised it could be another half hour wait at least.

His wife then drove him to Daisy Hill Hospital's Emergency Department herself with Matthew being left in a chair in a waiting room for several hours before having an ECG and an xray.

"I didn't know what to do. I was just fearing for my life essentially," Matthew said.

  • WATCH: Matthew Abraham speaks to UTV:

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Southern Trust said it was doing everything it could to make patients comfortable and treat everyone as safely and quickly as possible

"Despite all of this, regrettably many patients are experiencing longer waits," the statement said.

"We are facing ongoing challenges in admitting patients. Most of the long waits in the Emergency Department are due to patients waiting for a bed to become available following another patient’s discharge

"This has a direct impact on the length of time new patients who arrive at the Department will have to wait to be seen," the spokesperson added.

"Our hospitals are working beyond capacity dealing with rising numbers of Covid patients and many ill patients waiting for hospital beds.

"Managing these pressures in a global pandemic is a huge ongoing challenge for our exhausted staff.

"Rising Covid-19 related staff absence and illness inevitably increases pressures on our services, which are already experiencing very high levels of demand.

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