THE grieving family of recently deceased Christy Ward have insisted that the O’Hanlon Park man could still be alive today if he had been seen to at the Louth County Hospital.
The 46-year-old died suddenly on Monday April 11 after taking ill unexpectedly at his Dundalk home.
The father of two, who worked in Superquinn in Carroll Village Shopping Centre, died en route to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital while in the ambulance at a roundabout on the outskirts of Drogheda.
Known as the “Pied Piper” by friends and neighbours, Christy left behind two sons – Ciaran (20) and Shane (5) as well as his partner of 33 years, Aideen Smith.
His family are still trying to come to terms with his death with Aideen insisting he was never given a chance at life the moment he drove past the Louth County Hospital on the way to Drogheda.
“He was dead going into the Lourdes. If he had been taken to the Louth he might be still alive. He would’ve had that extra 20 minutes and it could have made all the difference,” she said.
Christy had been full of life the day before his unexpected passing but at 6.40am the next morning he woke in a major sweat, eventually falling onto his son Ciaran’s bed saying he couldn’t breath.
An ambulance was called and the emergency doctor performed two tests on him, both of which were given the all clear.
Ciaran then joined in in the ambulance on the way to the Lourdes.
He said: “He said his chest was at him so we thought he was having a heart attack but then he put his head back and starting make a weird noise. The two men in the ambulance sat in the front and didn’t do anything for him. I had to open his mouth to stop him biting his tongue.
“I knew things were getting worse and worse so I asked them to stop the ambulance at a roundabout outside Drogheda but all they did was put a spray into his mouth. I kept shouting at him to squeeze my hand if he could hear me but he didn’t.
“They wouldn’t resuscitate him in the ambulance and I still don’t know why.
“When we got to the Lourdes I begged them to put him on life support but they said it had gone too far. If the Louth had been open though he’d have had a crucial extra 20 minutes.
“It might not have definitely saved him but he’d have had a chance.
“I don’t see why you should have to pass a perfectly good hospital on the way to another one. They’re spending big money on the Queen coming here and on the Square and they can’t even provide a decent hospital service,” he said.
The family insist they are telling their story so that no one else has to go through what they have. They are fully behind the restoration of services in the Louth County Hospital.
The Ward family are still awaiting a cause of death for the father of two, who was an avid GAA fan and a regular visit to Croagh Patrick and Knock.
Read Christy’s obituary on page 52