THE PLIGHT of a 94-year-old man from Spain has gone viral on social media after a photo was widely shared of him pushing his wife down the street in a wheelchair in the middle of the night, due to the lack of an ambulance to ferry her between her care home and the local hospital.
The image shows Ramon wrapped up against the 2ºC cold in a hat and scarf, while his wife, Maria, who has Alzheimers, is tucked under a blanket to protect her from the elements. The scene was captured in Campdevanol, which is in Girona province in the northeastern Catalunya region of Spain.
The photo was first shared on social network X (formerly Twitter) by user Gerard Formenti, who denounced the lack of healthcare resources that forced the couple to have to make the journey by foot, and later reported by online daily 20 Minutos.
“It doesn’t seem right to me for them to admit a grandmother with Alzheimers in the Campdevanol hospital if there is no ambulance transport to take her barely 250 metres to the provincial residence,” Formenti wrote in his tweet.
He also claimed that there was ‘just one ambulance in the entire province’.
“For this five-minute journey, they had to come all the way from Figueres last time,” he wrote. “Outside the hospital, meanwhile, there weren’t any. Something needs to improve. This isn’t magic, it’s your taxes, our grandparents,” he railed.
According to local media, the photo was taken by Anna, Ramon and Maria’s daughter. She said that this was the third time that her parents had had to make the journey. She also claimed that other people had been in the same situation.
According to Anna, Maria has advanced Alzheimers and is unable to walk or stand up.
The couple’s daughter also explained that there are ambulances from the care home to the hospital, but not vice versa.
“They have spent more than 12 hours in the emergency room on more than one occasion, of which five or six were spent waiting for an ambulance,” she told El mon a RAC1 radio show.
TV network Telecinco reported that the family was offered an ambulance by the hospital for the return journey but refused it.
Telecinco also stated that the Girona regional healthcare authorities have requested more information in the case before deciding whether or not to intervene.
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