A distraught widow who lost her husband to meningitis after he waited more than five hours for an ambulance has released a harrowing photo of their last moments together, itv News reports. Lisa Mpongwana, 27, from Bedminster, Bristol, has criticised South Western Ambulance Service after it took five hours to get husband Mthuthuzeli to hospital after he started to feel unwell on January 5. Mrs Mpongwana said her husband was talking and asking questions when she called the NHS non-emergency service 111 but became “completely unresponsive” by the time an ambulance arrived. Mrs Mpongwana claimed that the call handler said he would send an ambulance straight away. But it took two-and-a-half hours for a medic in a rapid-response car to turn up at their home and a further three hours for Mr Mpongwana to be taken to hospital. Two days later, Mrs Mpongwana was forced to turn off her husband’s life support machine. It was later confirmed he had died of meningitis of the brain. The 27-year-old widow has paid tribute to Mthuthuzeli, describing him as “soulmate” and “her rock”. “My husband was my soul mate and best friend who stood by me throughout my highs and my lows,” Mrs Mpongwana said. “At the beginning my husband was talking and asking questions, by the time they arrived he was completely unresponsive.” She is now appealing for money to help pay for her husband’s funeral and donations have rocketed to nearly £7,000.
South Western Ambulance Service has apologised for the delay, blaming it on a “very busy time”.