Emergency operator taunts dying woman
WHEN Naomi Musenga was struck by excruciating pain in December last year, she did what any of us would do in the same situation - she called emergency services.
But instead of receiving reassurance and assistance from those supposedly dedicated to helping others, Ms Musenga was taunted by the woman who answered her desperate call.
And within a few hours of the call, the 22-year-old French woman was dead.
Ms Musenga's family have just obtained a copy of the recording, France 24 reported.
In the December 29 recording, the woman can be heard weakly saying: "It hurts all over" and "I'm going to die".
The female operator responds with: "You're going to die, certainly, one day just like everyone else."
Ms Musenga attempts to give details of her symptoms, but the operator says: "If you don't tell me what's going on, I'll hang up."
The operator then makes fun of Ms Musenga with a co-worker before finally giving the distressed woman the number for a French home doctor service known as SOS Doctors.
Five hours after that first call, Ms Musenga, who was alone, again contacted emergency services and that time, an ambulance was sent to her, but she passed away soon after arriving at a hospital in Strasbourg.
According to Le Monde, an autopsy conducted on Ms Musenga revealed she died from multiple organ failure.
The emergency services operator who answered Ms Musenga's first call has been suspended and she could be charged with "failing to assist a person in danger", SBS reported.
Ms Musenga's family's lawyer, Mohamed Aachour, said he would file a lawsuit in the near future.
"Would things have turned out differently if the emergency services had intervened faster?" he told AFP.
France's Health Minister Agnes Buyzn said on Twitter that she was "deeply outraged" by the case and has pushed for an inquiry into the "serious failures" of the emergency services.
Amid public outrage, a petition calling for an inquiry into the incident as well as the sacking of the operators involved has already attracted tens of thousands of signatures.
The case had turned the spotlight on France's health system, which is plagued by hospital overcrowding and staff shortages.
Earlier this year, US teen Kyle Plush died following a freak accident which saw him slowly crushed to death inside his family's car.
The 16-year-old called 911 twice to beg for help after the car's folding seat flipped and trapped him upside down.
Despite telling emergency services the location, colour, make and model of the car, police failed to find him.
The 911 dispatcher has been suspended while an investigation is carried out.
In April this year, a former 911 operator who hung up the phone "thousands" of times on people attempting to call in emergencies in Texas in the US was sentenced to jail time.