Harrowing audio has been released of a distressed mother’s frantic calls to triple-0 as her teenage daughter took her final breaths while waiting for an ambulance.
Bernard and Corine Anseline’s 14-year-old daughter Lydia suffered a severe asthma attack on April 13 at their home in Pakenham, Victoria.
They waited 30 minutes for paramedics after calling triple zero twice as Lydia’s condition deteriorated before she died in her father’s arms.
Two months on, the grieving parents are still yet to receive any answers as to why paramedics didn’t arrive until it was too late.
They have shared confronting audio of their calls to triple-0 released to them by the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority, in the hope it will spark change in the under-pressure healthcare system.
The audio includes the harrowing moment Mr Anseline begins CPR on his daughter after she lost consciousness.
The release comes after Melbourne’s ambulance services were forced to issue a ‘code red’ on Tuesday morning.
A critical shortage of staff meant there were no ambulances available to be deployed to assist the sick and injured.
Lydia Anseline (pictured with her dad) died in her dad Bernard’s arms while waiting for paramedics to arrive
‘She feels like she’s passing out,’ Ms Anseline explains to the call operator.
‘Lydia, Lydia, Lydia, Lydia, are you alright,’ her husband is heard in the background.
His wife tells the triple-0 call operator: ‘She’s turning blue’.
The call operator provides instructions on how to give Lydia CPR.
‘She’s turning blue,’ Ms Anseline cries.
The calm operator on the other end of the line is doing everything she can to help them.
‘I understand she’s turning blue, you need to follow my instructions okay,’ she explains.
‘She’s still not breathing,’ Mr Anseline is heard screaming as he desperately tries to revive his daughter.
The call eventually ends with the fire brigade first to arrive on scene, who took over resuscitation.
But by time paramedics arrived half an hour after the first call to triple-0, it was too late.
Corine Anseline (pictured) decided to share her harrowing triple-0 calls to the rest of Australia but admits it was hard listening to them
Despite their traumatic grief, the Anselines want to share the audio with the rest of Australia.
‘I don’t think I’m ready to listen to it, but I’m sharing it because I just want people to know … it was a serious call,’ Ms Anseline told A Current Affair.
Her husband added: ‘I know it’s traumatising, it’s very hard, because I couldn’t handle it myself – but (in) my opinion, people need to be aware of how the system is working,’
When Mrs Anseline first called at 1.07am, she was assured an ambulance was on its way.
‘We do have that help organised for her, we’ve got an ambulance being sent,’ the operator is heard saying.
That assurance stopped Mr Anseline from driving Lydia to the hospital himself, which is a 12 minute drive away.
The family insist they don’t blame Ambulance Victoria for Lydia’s death but have lost faith in the emergency services system.
‘Personally, I would be very hesitant to call 000,’ Mr Anseline said.
‘If I can make it to the hospital, or a doctor, I’d get there myself.’
‘I’ve already lost a daughter already, but seeing other families going through the same thing, it does break me.’
Grieving parents Bernard and Corine Anseline have recalled the final moments of their teenage daughter Lydia (pictured)
The heartbroken family have previously revealed Lydia’s final words as she took her final breaths.
‘I grabbed her hand and lifted her head up and I go, ‘Lydia!’ And she opened her eyes and goes, ‘dad, I love you’,’ Mr Anseline previously told A Current Affair.
Ambulances are often called to the property as the Anseline’s three other children also suffer from asthma attacks.
‘Seven minutes, that’s the longest we’ve ever had to wait. But on the 13th (of) April, it was a totally different story,’ Mr Anseline said.
The first call to triple zero was made at 1.07am, another was then made at 1.25am.
An ambulance eventually got to the property at 1.41am – 34 minutes after the first call – but Lydia had tragically died before the ambulance had arrived.
The family only lives 13km – or a 12 minute drive – from the nearest hospital to their home.
They believe Lydia would’ve probably survived if they had rushed her to the hospital instead.
Lydia (left) had suffered a severe asthma attack at their family home in Pakenham, Victoria in April. Her parents called triple zero as her father performed CPR
Ms Anseline said if they were aware of the ambulance’s estimated time of arrival they ‘could have saved her, she’d still be here’.
Lydia had experienced another asthma attack just six weeks prior to her tragic death and had been rushed to hospital by her mother.
At that time, Mrs Anseline claimed the doctors and medical staff advised her to call triple zero to their home next time Lydia had an asthma attack.
Her parents are now calling on triple zero call takers to provide accurate estimated arrival times for ambulances.
‘Just be honest. If the ambulance is going to run late, let the person know. Because if that person has enough time to save a life, it makes a big difference,’ Mr Anseline added.
Mr and Mrs Anseline (pictured) believe Lydia would’ve survived if they had rushed her to hospital instead. They are now calling on triple zero call takers to provide accurate estimated arrival times for ambulances
An Ambulance Victoria spokesperson said at the time they were undertaking a full investigation into the incident to better understand what happened and why.
‘We extend our deepest condolences to the patient’s family and loved ones in this extremely difficult time,’ the spokesperson said.
‘We are undertaking a full investigation into this tragic incident to better understand what happened and why.
‘We take very seriously our work providing the very best care we can to every patient, and we’ll continue to work hard to serve the community during this period of increased demand.’
Two months on, Lydia’s parents are still waiting for answers, despite promises by the director of Ambulance Victoria to meet with them, which never eventuated.
‘I just wanted answers,’ Mrs Anseline said.
‘Why we were never contacted after the call, like, letting us know it was running late.’
Premier Dan Andrews (pictured) responded to the statewide staffing issues at a Rural Press Club lunch at Victoria’s State Library on Tuesday
Premier Dan Andrews responded to the statewide staffing issues at a Rural Press Club lunch at Victoria’s State Library on Tuesday shifting blame away from his government.
‘With Covid-19 and flu spreading widely this winter, 1547 staff across the state’s health system and about 150 Ambulance Victoria paramedics were off work on Monday, Mr Andrews said.
Mr Andrews expressed that Australia’s sluggish skilled migration has been one of the factors impacting Victoria’s health system over the past few years.
He believes that clearing the backlog of skilled migrants waiting to enter the country, will be the key to solving the crisis in regional health staffing.