A man with chest pains collapsed and died outside a busy A&E after reportedly being told he would have to wait four hours.
Norman Barker, who was also known to friends as James Salvator, collapsed outside Lincoln County Hospital after being faced with a lengthy wait and nowhere to sit, according to his family.
The 27-year-old’s mum, Sue Atkin, described her son as “the kindest, caring person there is who would stop at nothing to help others”.
Although she says medical staff who tried to save him were brilliant, she reckons her son should have been seen at the Accident & Emergency department sooner.
Last Monday he had pains in his chest and felt very clammy.
His nan was told that there was a “two hour wait for an ambulance” when she called emergency services.
Sue went to collect her son to take him to hospital within the hour, but it took three people to help him get ready because he couldn’t stand up very well due to feeling unwell.
After checking in at A&E reception at Lincoln County Hospital, she was told there would be a four-hour wait and to take a seat.
But she said this wasn’t possible as there were no free seats and he decided to go for a walk and head with his mother to her house.
He grabbed his mum’s arm just outside the hospital and asked for help as he collapsed.
His brother Jimmy helped to put him in the recovery position before a nurse who had just come off duty stopped to help and gave him CPR.
She flagged down an ambulance that was on the way to another job.
A paramedic called for another ambulance and waited with him and and treated him until he was taken into the resuscitation part of A&E with his family.
Sue added: “The resus team were amazing and tried everything to get my son’s heart beating again. My son was in my arms.
“The doctor who was dealing with my son came to me and was explaining everything that they tried to do and they were still working on him.
“I went to see my son and saw this machine they had attached to do heart compressions. I knew my son had gone and asked them to stop.
Alex Rhodes / BBC)
“He was healthy, this is what we don’t understand. He had a heart murmur when he was born that was checked at the time and he was discharged and he’s had no problems since.
“I can’t fault the staff that helped, and the nurse who stopped with us was amazing and did everything she could.
“But I feel he should’ve been seen at A&E sooner. Someone of his age and so healthy complaining of chest pains and being clammy, he should’ve been seen straight away.”
She added: “I didn’t realise how popular he was until now. I’ve had lots of messages of support. He was always happy and smiling.
“I couldn’t go without a day seeing my son. We have always been close, like he was with his brothers and he always spoiled me, bless him.
“Norman was gay, which I was very proud of him for, and he helped at Lincoln Pride and other events including recently at The Plough pub.
“He loved being there for everyone, as this made him happy. He was always smiling and there was never a dull moment with Norman, if you were sad he would make sure that he cheered you up.”
Norman was one of four brothers with Freddie, Shaun and Jimmy, and also had a little nephew called Cain who he adored. He also leaves his nan, mum, step dad and his best friend Jade.
His mun Sue is planning to dye her hair with pride colours and hold a table top sale in order to raise more money towards her son’s funeral.
She said one of her son’s close friends Ashley Hill has been “amazing and a great support to the family”, helping her set up fundraisers.
A hospital spokesman said: “We are unable to comment on individual cases, but would like to offer our condolences to the friends and family of Mr Barker.
“Like most areas of the NHS, we have seen extreme demands on our urgent care services in recent weeks, as well as delays in discharging patients into care outside of our hospitals.”
Chris Vaughan/Lincolnshire Echo)
Andrew Morgan, chief executive of the United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust, has admitted he has never seen the NHS so busy at this time of year during his 39 years of service in the organisation.
Mr Morgan said coronavirus patients will be a feature for the “foreseeable future”, but said strain could be put on the county’s services by the onset of the flu season.
He said: “Hospitals are about flow, so for the people who come through the front door we do stuff with them and then we discharge them home again, but at the moment it’s really, really busy – we are full.”
Sue Cousland, divisional director for the Lincolnshire Division of the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS), said: “We offer our deepest condolences to Norman’s family and friends during this really difficult time.
“We are speaking with Norman’s family directly so we can fully investigate what happened.”