Family member Sheila Jacobs sits on the chair where the deceased used to sit in front of the house she lived in. Picture: Picture: Danie van der Lith/DFA
Family member Sheila Jacobs sits on the chair where the deceased used to sit in front of the house she lived in. Picture: Picture: Danie van der Lith/DFA

Woman dies waiting for ambulance

By Norma Wildenboer Time of article published Jul 26, 2017

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Kimberley - A Kimberley woman has died at her home, while waiting for an ambulance that took more than two hours to arrive.

Desiree Jacobs, 27, died in her bed at home in Agnes Street, Colville, on Monday night, while waiting for a Northern Cape Department of Health ambulance. Family members had phoned for an ambulance to assist Jacobs at around 9pm on Monday night, after she fell ill.

Margaret Jacobs, a family member, as well as a neighbour, Nazlee Rosenburg, said on Tuesday that Desiree suffered from tuberculosis but was released from West End Hospital in Kimberley last week.

The family member added that Jacobs was “healthy and feeling good” as she was taking her medication as prescribed.

However, she fell ill on Monday night.

“She was struggling to breathe and coughing badly. Her lips were turning blue and she had foam around her mouth. That is when we called the ambulance, at around 9pm.

“However, at around 10pm, while still waiting for the ambulance, we noticed that she was not breathing anymore and that her body had turned cold.

“We realised that she was dead. The ambulance only arrived after 11pm and she was declared dead on the scene,” Margaret said.

Another family member, Sheila Jacobs, said that they believed that Desiree would still be alive, had the ambulance arrived sooner.

“We blame the Department of Health for her death, she could have been saved had they not been so pathetically slow in arriving at the house.

“Unfortunately we did not have any transport to take her to hospital ourselves and we believed the ambulance would come to her assistance sooner.

“However they took away any hope she had of surviving,” Sheila said.

The women said on Tuesday that Desiree would be remembered as a beautiful, loving and kind person, who was liked by everyone in her community.

“It is sad to see that the chair, where she was always seen chatting and laughing, is now empty and the yard is eerily quiet.

“She was still happy and healthy, only hours before her death. We will miss her tremendously,” the mourning women said.

She leaves a nine-year-old daughter.

Northern Cape Department of Health spokesperson, Lulu Mxekezo, said on Tuesday that the Department would only be able to comment at a later stage.

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