A holiday-maker feared for her life when she suffered a heart attack at a popular Blackpool hotel – and staff called her a taxi rather than an ambulance.
Linda Glassford, 54, checked into the Royal Seabank Hotel on August 26 in hope of a fun-filled seaside holiday.
But just one day later while on a night out singing karaoke, the mum of three began to suffer from chest pains. She returned to her hotel, where the pain, she says, became worse and began to spread to her arms and back.
Recognising her symptoms from a previous heart attack 10 years earlier, and with her own mobile phone dead at the time, she says she asked Royal Seabank staff to call her an ambulance – but was horrified when, after taking her pulse, a hotel porter determined she was ‘totally normal’, and offered to call her a taxi instead.
In a statement issued by the hotel, managing director Tony Banks said her memory of what happened was ‘ambiguous’ due to her being being ‘very confused and a little disorientated’ at the time.
Mrs Glassford, who lives in Leeds and works as a cleaner, said: “(The porter) took hold of my arm for a few seconds and said ‘that’s totally normal’.
“I had severe pains in my arms and chest and my hands were going stiff. I was clutching my chest and my arm. I said ‘I’ve had a heart attack before and I think I’m having another one’.
“The woman behind the desk offered to call me a taxi to take me to the hospital.”
She said she was told to climb three flights of stairs to her hotel room to inform her friend, that she was going to hospital.
Mrs Glassford said: “When I got there I was absolutely panicking. I was in agony.”
She was taken to Blackpool A&E, where doctors quickly confirmed she was having a heart attack and administered a life-saving injection of thrombolytics to break down the clot that was slowing down blood flow to her heart.
She said: “I was in tears. The hospital advised me not to ring my son because it was pouring down on the motorway, and I said ‘but what if I don’t get to say goodbye?’ I thought I was going to die.”
Mrs Glassford was kept at Blackpool Victoria Hospital for three days, during which time she was given several more injections to fully destroy the clot. She has since issued a complaint to the Royal Seabank Hotel.
Hospital bosses, with Mrs Glassford’s permission, confirmed she suffered a heart attack.
Tony Banks, managing director at The Royal Seabank Hotel, said: “Mrs Glassford informed the staff she had been feeling unwell all day. She stated she had pains running down her arm, and the staff on duty advised her to attend the hospital. The staff called for a taxi to transport her to Blackpool Victoria to seek medical assistance.
“Having fully investigated this matter, including taking statements from the staff on duty, we believe Ms Glassford’s recollection of the events is ambiguous to say the least, however this may be due to Mrs Glassford being very confused and a little disorientated.
“We believe the staff acted in good faith given the circumstances presented to them at the time and by the staff actions of advising Ms Glassford to attend the hospital was the correct course of action.
“The Royal Seabank Hotel and Blackpool Promotions places guest welfare and wellbeing above all else. We currently have two guests in the care of Blackpool Victoria hospital whose family are being accommodated at our hotels free of charge as part of our duty of care towards our guests.”
Mrs Glassford said: “I still can’t believe what happened. “All I asked was for them to call me an ambulance. Who are they to decide whether I needed one or not?
“They put the responsibility on the taxi driver.
“It’s extremely upsetting.
“It’s like losing your faith in humanity.”