A Victorian mother has lost her leg after she was forced to wait more than four hours for an ambulance.
Two weeks ago, Marianne Maher awoke from her sleep at 5am to go to the toilet but when she tried to get out of bed she found she couldn’t use her right leg.
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While attempting to get up, the 53-year-old from Ballarat fell out of her bed and was forced to crawl to her lounge room to seek help.
Speaking to 7NEWS, Maher said she couldn’t feel her foot and was getting pins and needles and pain up her leg.
Her partner immediately called triple-0 and was assured an ambulance would be at the home shortly.
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“They (the call taker) said the next ambulance will be there,” Maher said.
“So we left it at that … and I made myself comfortable.”
However as they waited, Maher’s condition worsened.
She was experiencing agonising pain and a rash was developing on her right leg.
“The pins and needles were out of hand,” she said.
Hours had gone by and Maher made a further four calls to triple-0, with call takers continuing to tell her an ambulance was on the way.
Marianne Maher, 53, had to have her leg amputated two weeks ago after suffering from a blood clot. Credit: 7NEWS
Maher said she was “extremely scared” during the long wait, confused as to what was happening to her and wondering when she was going to get help.
“I didn’t know what was going on, I just wanted an ambulance to hurry up,” she said.
“How long does it take to get an ambulance?
“If I’m saying I’m in pain just get one.”
Help finally arrived at 9am but it was too little too late.
At the hospital, doctors told Maher she was suffering from a blood clot in her leg which had originated from her foot and was travelling up her leg.
Maher was forced to wait four hours for an ambulance to arrive at her Ballarat home. Credit: 7NEWS
At that stage, her foot was already dead.
Her leg needed to be amputated otherwise there was a chance the situation could turn fatal.
“It (was) pretty much me or my leg,” Maher said.
“I was in a bit of shock, so was my partner.
“I didn’t have a lot of time to think … it was like a real quick decision.”
Maher said he still hasn’t come to terms with what has happened and the impact it will now have on her life. Credit: 7NEWS
Doctors told Maher her foot had already suffered too much damage but that it was possible the delay in getting help did lead to a worse outcome.
“(The doctor) did sort of say maybe if it was a little bit earlier we may have been able to save your leg,” she said.
Ambulance Victoria met with Maher’s partner on Tuesday.
He said senior management offered an apology and acknowledged they could have done better.
The matter is now subject to an internal investigation.
Maher said she still hasn’t come to terms with the fact her leg is now gone.
“I’m very angry,” she said.
“I’m angry that (we) had to ring five times before somebody came, that should not happen.”