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A young woman who called the emergency services after she had a heart attack was told 'You'll definitely die one day, like everyone else', and just hours later she did.
22-year-old Naomi Musenga tragically passed away after calling Strasbourg's ambulance service because she was suffering severe stomach pains.
During the three-minute phone call, Naomi could be heard speaking in a weak voice saying she was 'going to die' and that she was 'very ill' and in lots of pain, according to Metro.
Instead of helping, the operator told her: "You'll definitely die one day, like everyone else."
Naomi was also told by the anonymous operator during the phone call on 29 December: "If you don't tell me what's going on, I'll hang up."
Rather than send out an ambulance, the operator gives her the number of SOS Médecins and tells her to call for a doctor saying she can't help her.
The young woman did call for a doctor and ended up waiting five hours before she was rushed to hospital in an ambulance. When she got to hospital she suffered a stroke and later died of multiple organ failure.
The phone operator has now come forward to defend herself, saying that she is not to blame and instead pointing the finger at her working conditions.
She told French TV on Sunday night that she was under pressure and the emergency services were overworked.
According to the BBC, when asked if she regretted what she had said, the operator replied: "In the conditions... let's say it was inappropriate.
"We are constantly under pressure... I can be two or three hours hanging on my phone, I have no time to get up there's so much [demand] everywhere," she said. "We hang up and we pick up."
She also said that some of her colleagues working in the emergency services had received threats since news of Naomi's death.
Her lawyer said she fields around 2,000 calls each day and that a stomach ache is usually not considered an emergency.
The case has only come to light because Naomi's family got hold of the recording. The operator has been suspended and an investigation launched.
But, Naomi's family have refused to blame the operator, saying they recognise the poor working conditions, France's BFMTV reported.
Last year a man with mental health issues died just hours after being hung up on by a 999 operator.
Ronald Russell called up the Scottish Ambulance Service in distress but was found by a neighbour after lying on the floor for 17 hours.
Featured Image Credit: France 3 Grand Est
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