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Dying mother had to wait 50 minutes for ambulance after Donegal traffic accident

A heartbroken son has spoken of how he lay down on a road beside his dying mother after a traffic accident as they waited 50 minutes for an ambulance to arrive.

Brendan Porter said he still hasn't been told why it took so long for a crew to attend to his mum Maura (70) after she was knocked down on her way home from church.

The accident happened in Co Donegal, but Mrs Porter was eventually taken to Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry, over half an hour away, where she died six hours after the December 30 crash.

The delay meant it was an hour and a half before she was admitted to hospital. Mrs Porter was buried after Requiem Mass in Carndonagh, Co Donegal, on Friday.

As she died in a hospital in Northern Ireland, an inquest into her death will be held here.

The Republic's Health Service Executive said the ambulance which dealt with Mrs Porter had to be sent from Letterkenny, 40 miles away, as the closest ambulance was tied up with another incident.

"We will never know what would have happened had the ambulance arrived earlier but my mother could still be alive today if it had come sooner," said 41-year-old Mr Porter. "Valuable time was wasted, time that could have given surgeons an opportunity which may have saved her life."

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Mr Porter, his sister Davina and dad Neil, a retired firefighter, stayed with Mrs Porter on the road near their home, anxiously awaiting the ambulance as rain poured down. In memory of his mother, Mr Porter has vowed to fight for better response times.

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