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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 June 2007, 09:53 GMT 10:53 UK
Inquiry into 999 'fat joke' claim
Sandra Teague
Mrs Teague's many illnesses included asthma and diabetes
Claims that ambulance staff made fun of a woman for being overweight moments before she died are being investigated.

Sandra Teague's husband John said the paramedics joked about calling the fire brigade to move his 17.5st (111kg) wife out of their home in Gloucester.

"They [joked about] getting her out through the window, which I thought was rather disgusting," he said.

Great Western Ambulance Service said it was taking the complaint seriously and was investigating the allegations.

Heart attack

Mr Teague called 999 when his 52-year-old wife began to have trouble breathing.

She had had a history of illness, including asthma and diabetes, and the steroid drugs she needed had caused her weight to balloon.

John Teague
Mr Teague said the paramedics' comments were 'disgusting'

Mr Teague said the ambulance crew had been at their house in Partridge Close, Podsmead, for two hours deliberating how to move her.

They had tried putting her on an air mattress, but she had slipped off.

"If they'd picked her up, put her in a wheelchair, got her into an ambulance and got her to hospital, they might have stood a good chance of saving her. As it is, she passed away in the dining room," he said.

"This is about ambulance staff realising patients are people and treating them with respect."

He said a post mortem examination concluded that Mrs Teague had died of a heart attack.

A statement from Great Western Ambulance Service Trust said: "We take every complaint extremely seriously and a formal investigation is under way."

Inquiry into ambulance crew 'insult' to dying patient

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