A pensioner has described how his 80-year-old wife waited in agonising pain for almost two hours for an ambulance after she broke her hip.
"She could have taken a heart attack with the pain she was going through," said Jimmy Sheelan (73) yesterday.
His wife Angela, a mother of three and granny to eight, remains in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda where she underwent an operation to repair her hip.
Mr Sheelan said he first called an ambulance just after 5pm last Friday and the HSE confirmed that one did not arrive until 6.47pm.
An advanced paramedic in a rapid response vehicle arrived at the Sheelan home, in Riverstown, Co Louth, at 5.35pm but his car did not have a stretcher and he had to wait for the ambulance that was able to take her to hospital.
"He was very good to her and he gave her morphine for the pain but we needed an ambulance," said Mr Sheelan yesterday.
The HSE said: "The National Ambulance Service regrets that . . . unavoidable delay in transport to hospital occurred."