Neighbors Leave Nasty Note On Ambulance While Patient Vomits Blood

Josephine Thompson

Journalist

Sometimes, people are just unreasonably mean. West Midlands Ambulance Service sent a van to help a 42-year-old patient who was reportedly vomiting blood. The ambulance had been parked for less than 30 minutes when the paramedics found a hand-written note on their windshield: "You may be saving lives, but don't park your van in a stupid place and block my drive." However, since they had their priorities right, they rushed the patient – suffering from massive internal bleeding - to the hospital where he later died.

"They are absolutely horrified. They said it's hard enough as it is, with the loss," said John Hagans, manager of the charity center where the deceased had lived, speaking about the parent's reaction.

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"The man's father said to me that it has just made it 50 times worse. The man had been clean for three months before he collapsed. He was making active changes to change his life. He was somebody who had made poor choices, but was now making the right ones. I have been absolutely disgusted that an individual complained about the ambulance's parking. An ambulance is a sacred space. What goes on inside there, it shouldn't be interfered with."

Centre manager John Hagans

"One of these days, heaven forbid that the man who left the note or his family might need an ambulance. He would shut down all of Small Heath to get an ambulance through," added Hagans, noting that while the area has a parking problem, on that fateful day the ambulance was parked down an alley where it wasn't blocking anything. He was horrified by the people who felt so little empathy for others to actually curse out an ambulance.

Charity and rehabilitation centre Livingstone House

"I have nothing to say. You will have to talk to my husband about it," said the women who answered the door at the house where the ambulance had been parked. When she was shown the note and asked if she knew the handwriting, she slammed the door. "Everyone says it was this guy (who wrote the note). If it was, then he should know better," said a neighbor who wished not to be identified. "He's got a decent, responsible job. It's terrible that anyone would take a pop at the paramedics. They save lives for goodness sake."

The road in Small Heath, where the note was left on the ambulance

John Hagans also said that there was another driver trapped in the driveway for 40 minutes who just sat there patiently while the paramedics were working hard to stabilize the patient.

Paramedic Tasha Starkey

While the residents of the area are outraged about what happened, the paramedics have something to say, too. "Crew alerted an extremely poorly patient to hospital... minimal on scene time, arrived at the hospital to find this note... this patient was TIME-CRITICAL," wrote paramedic Tasha Starkey, who was the first one to share the note online. "One of our crews encountered this delightful note after assisting a patient suffering a major internal bleed! The crew were not on the scene long due to how poorly the patient was," wrote Paramedic Clinical Team Mentor Sam Grimson.

Paramedic Tasha Starkey with a colleague

"We always try to park appropriately, but sometimes it is not possible." Meanwhile, West Midlands Ambulance Service tweeted: "Sometimes we just don't know what to say. This was the note left on an ambulance today. At the time, the crew was helping a man who was extremely unwell after vomiting blood. They took him on blue lights to hospital where he was in a critical condition. #patientscomefirst"

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