Ranjith Peiris, 58, died in the Northern Hospital’s intensive care unit on Tuesday morning after he lost consciousness while waiting for an ambulance.
His son, Roshan, said the grandfather, from Roxburgh Park, was initially conscious for about 45 minutes during his asthma attack.
But it took an ambulance 70 minutes to arrive and take him to hospital.
‘All up, we waited an hour and 10 minutes, and my dad was conscious for about 45 minutes trying to breathe,’ he said.
‘They [000 dispatchers] kept saying on the phone, “They are on their way”. But he never recovered from that time.’
Authorities are now investigating whether public alerts should have gone out about the unfolding crisis as one person remains in a critical condition in intensive care.
A devastated Roshan said his father was liked by everyone.
‘Everyone remembers dad’s smile. Dad was always smiling, he would always have a joke and a drink with his friends,’ the son said.
The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services said the thunderstorm was ‘a tragic and unforeseen event and hospitals [were] continuing to treat 12 people for a variety of respiratory and other related conditions, in addition to those in ICU care’.
Across last Monday and Tuesday, hospitals treated more than 8,500 people.
‘This was a tragic and unforeseen event and hospitals are continuing to treat seven people for a variety of respiratory and other related conditions,’ the department said in Tuesday’s statement.
‘Ambulance paramedics, emergency services staff and dedicated doctors, nurses and pharmacy staff saved the lives hundreds of Victorians who received treatment as a result of their symptoms.’
This comes after the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Health Minister Jill Hennessy announced a $500 million funding boost for the state’s ambulance services, in a report by AAP.
‘We know that in an emergency every second counts,’ Hennessy said in a statement on Sunday.
‘That’s why we’re giving our paramedics the new resources they need, where they are needed most.’
A woman in her 40s died at the Northern Hospital on Friday evening, the Herald Sun reports.
The unprecedented natural disaster overwhelmed the state’s emergency services and lead to more than 500 people being hospitalised, and more than 8500 treated for complications.
There is still one person in intensive care following the freak thunderstorm – and four of those are in a critical condition.
The most recent victim of the devastating weather event died in hospital, previous victims died directly after the storm – as their families desperately attempted to revive them while waiting for ambulance crews to arrive. (Colombo Gazette)