Fife coach Dougall collapses with perforated bowel, denied ambulance 5 times

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john-dougallThree weeks ago, former Scottish international swimmer and now head coach of the Fife Performance Swimming Squad John Dougall experienced acute stomach pain, and called 999 for an ambulance on the verge of collapse. Read for instance Fife Today, The Scottish Sun, The Courier and the Daily Record

“They asked me the usual questions and basically asked if I had been drinking. I told them no, none of that and explained I lived on my own, that I couldn’t move. I needed help, I was in a really bad way but they said my symptoms wouldn’t warrant any help.”

According to John, they advised NHS 24 would call back within two hours and when he stressed he was “in agony” the call handler replied: “but you are able to speak to us”.

An hour later in a call with NHS 24, he was advised to take some painkillers.

John said: “I told them this was starting to scare me now. There‘s sweat pouring from me and burning coming from my chest and abdomen. I pleaded for an ambulance but they said they would get a nurse to ring me in the next couple of hours to go through treatment options with me.”

Desperate, John crawled to his front door where neighbours happened to be passing.

Horrified, they immediately rang 999 but were refused assistance.

Turned out he had a ruptured intestine and was heavily septic. His team did well though at the following Scottish Nationals, despite of their coach being confined to a hospital bed. Read for instance Fife Direct

About Author

Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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