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‘There should have been one around’: N.S. mother drives son to emerge after waiting nearly an hour for ambulance

'There should have been one around': N.S. mother drives son to emerge after waiting nearly an hour for ambulance

Hundreds celebrated and attended events across the Maritimes Friday, with many eager to get back to in-person festivities.

However, for one mother and her son, the holiday this year is one she’d rather forget.

“When he went in the bouncy castle, he went through it pretty fast, and when he came out, he said he wasn’t feeling good and was dizzy. We were going to bring him home, but when he started to walk, he was white as a ghost and passed out. Not once, but twice,” said Felicia Holden.

Holden and her 8-year-old son Jaxson were attending events on the waterfront in Pugwash, N.S., when the incident occurred.

911 was called right away, but help was slow to arrive.  

“We waited down at the waterfront for a half-hour, 40 minutes and then we took him up to the hospital ourselves. We were there another 45-minutes before the paramedic even arrived,” said Holden.

Holden says she was later told there were no ambulances in the local area. She says the closest one was more than an hour away in Pictou, N.S.

“When the paramedic came to the hospital, she did explain and said she was sorry. She said she had begged for an ambulance to stay in Wallace, so there would be at least one on the shore close by, but they wouldn’t leave them there. They sent them to Pictou,” said Holden.

In an email to CTV News, Emergency Health Services says in part “The event attended by the family was one of several held in communities across the province on Canada Day, which placed an added strain on emergency response resources provincially. EHS Operations is working very closely with its health care and government partners to find solutions to these issues, and have made a number of changes in recent months with that goal in mind.”

Despite the explanation, Holden still feels there should have been an ambulance in town during that time.

“Since there was hundreds, if not more, in Pugwash at that time because it was a big event, so there should’ve been one around anyway,” said Holden.

Holden says she’s glad a nurse happened to be in the area and was on scene to help and keep the family calm.

Meanwhile, EHS said they are deeply concerned to hear about the experience and understand how stressful these situations can be.