Good Samaritan drove elderly stranger to hospital after being told an ambulance would take 10 hours
- Credit: Rhiannon Mason
A good Samaritan who rushed to the aid of an elderly woman who suffered a fall went a step further and took her to hospital when she was told the wait for an ambulance would be 10 hours.
Rhiannon Mason, 26, saw a woman in her 80s fall on Tunstead Road, in Hoveton, on January 2 - and rushed to help.
Miss Mason, who lives in Horning, said: 'She fell right into the road. There was a doctor driving past and she managed to see her and checked her over but when we called the ambulance they said it's going to be about 10 hours. I was absolutely disgusted.'
Miss Mason said initially she did not want to move the woman, in case it would injure her.
She added: 'A couple of people came with blankets, the community came together, but I was quite shocked as she was laying in the middle of the road.'
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They managed to get her to the nearby doctors' surgery. But it was still felt the woman, who Miss Mason said had dementia and had a 'bad cut' from falling on her face, needed to go to the hospital.
'We rang the ambulance service back and they said it would be the same amount of time,' she said. 'So I took her because I would like to think if it was me when I'm elderly or my son, my mother, or grandparents that there would be someone there to help me.'
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Miss Mason, who had 11-month-old son Lewis with her, added: 'She was shocked it was going to take so long. In the car she was just asking 'why couldn't the ambulance come?''
Miss Mason then spent around four hours waiting at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) and only left when she could not stay anymore as she needed to feed Lewis.
She said: 'It was awful and when I left I burst into tears, and I was in tears all night because I was worried about her and how I felt it was disgusting how long she would have had to wait.'
On January 2, East of England Ambulance Trust (EEAST) received around 4,200 999 calls, usually they receive around 3,000 a day.
And during this period the service was on its highest level of alert, known as REAP level 4.
A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Trust said: 'We received a call at just after midday on January 2 to Hoveton to a report of a woman who had fallen.'
The spokesman said a doctor was with the patient and the call was categorised as a category three, which would usually have a response time for 120 minutes.
The spokesman added: 'We received a call back at 1pm to say that the patient was making their own way to hospital. We'd urge the patient or her family to get in touch with the trust directly if they have any further concerns or questions.'