Montreal man dies while waiting for ambulance for 11 hours; daughter speaks out

A Montreal woman searches for answers after her 65-year-old father died while waiting for an ambulance for more than 11 hours.

Stephanie’s Cybriwski’s father, Myron, first called 911 around 5:20 a.m. on May 14.

He told the dispatcher that he had fallen and hit his head a few days earlier. His head has been aching ever since and he struggled to get out of bed.

“I don’t know what’s going on,” Myron hears Cybriwski say in French.

The dispatcher told him it could take up to seven hours for the ambulance to arrive. He asked to call him back if his symptoms worsened.

Cybriwski called again about 15 minutes later and again two hours later, but he kept waiting.

At around 4:15 p.m., 911 employees called the phone this time to reach Cybriwski, but there was no answer.

A message was left asking him to call back to be reassessed, explaining that there were still significant delays in reaching the patients.

Myron, 65, called 911 on May 14 because his head had hurt since a fall a few days earlier. (Photo courtesy of Stephanie Cybriwski)

When paramedics finally arrived around 4:50 am, Cybriwski was dead.

It had been over 11 hours since he made the first call.

Stephanie Cybriwski questions whether the tragedy could have been prevented without the 911 dispatcher’s “dismissive” communications and a general lack of health care resources.

‘There is so much information missing. Why haven’t more questions been asked?’ Cybriwski told CTV News on Friday.

Stephanie Cybriwski is pictured with her father, Myron, who died while waiting for an ambulance in Montreal. (Photo courtesy of Sephanie Cybriwski)

“The first call, it was so quick to send him away. He says he recently fell face down, hit his head and there are no follow-up questions. They just ask if he’s bleeding and if he’s had COVID recently. ”

“There is no message of ‘Do you live alone? Is there someone you can call for help?'”

CORONER RESEARCH

Cybriwski also calls on the government to improve emergency response times by providing more resources.

Chantal Comeau, a spokesperson for Urgences-Sante, declined to comment on the case as it is currently under investigation by the coroner.

However, she said 19 paramedics have been hired since May and Urgences-Sante plans to hire 23 more in September.

The goal is to employ 100 additional paramedics by the end of March.

It’s not the first time an incident like this has been in the spotlight recently: Earlier this month, a 91-year-old woman from Montreal died while waiting seven hours for an ambulance.

The incident led the paramedics’ union to speak out about poor working conditions.

“They are just fed up with the whole situation,” union spokesman Luc Beaumont said at the time. “We get just over 1,000 calls a day and we’re missing staff.”

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