A mum of two was left waiting on the floor for 16 hours with her 12-year-old daughter on the phone to the ambulance service after dislocating her hip.
Sharon Evans, 50, had just had the joint replaced in an operation two months ago, following a diagnosis of hip dysplasia which affects the ability of the hip socket to remain in place.
It comes as the health service faces unprecedent pressure with Covid infections soaring to record levels and having a knock on effect in other areas of the NHS, including staff shortages.
The former NHS administrator says her heroic daughter, Lauren, 12, who rushed into action, has been left traumatised after watching her mum scream in agony with no pain relief for 16 hours.
Despite initially being told it would be a six hour wait for paramedics when they called 999 at around 12pm on December 30, crews didn’t show up until shortly before 4am the following morning.
Sharon, from Oswestry, Shropshire, said: “I was about to take my daughter out to meet a friend, I bent down to put my shoe on and I heard it pop.
Sharon suffered nasty bruising as a result of the fall she took as her hip dislocated
“The pain was absolutely horrendous. They advised me not to move and not to eat or drink anything.
“The only pain relief I had was paracetamol.
“They told me to try and not move but it was absolutely freezing in the hallway where I had fallen, so I managed to drag myself past the door.
“We were calling them every four hours to see where they were and they kept telling us someone was coming.
The mum had to undergo an emergency operation to fix her hip
“I told them what I thought; that it was an absolute joke. My daughter was shaking like a leaf.”
After failing to get hold of her husband who was working, Sharon called her son, Luke, 20, who rushed home and stayed by her side with his sister.
The pair called 999 every four hours for an update and were told each time the crews were coming.
Sharon continued: “I think it has really affected my daughter, she was alone with me watching me screaming with pain on the floor and I do think it has really traumatised her.
“She’s terrified of it happening again.
“My children are my heroes, I don’t know what I would have done without them.
“I dread to think if this had happened to an elderly person living alone, I doubt they would have survived.”
After undergoing emergency surgery, Sharon was discharged the following day and spent New Year's Eve recovering in bed.
Ambulances have been queuing up to offload patients across the country over the last few weeks as the NHS faces unprecedented winter pressures
Andy Commins / Daily Mirror)
This week, NHS England revealed that December had been the worst month on record for treating people in Accident and Emergency within four hours.
More than a quarter were left waiting over that threshold as just 73.3% of patients across England were seen by A&E staff within four hours during December.
The figure is the lowest percentage since records began over a decade ago in November 2010.
Last year 80.3% of patients seen within the time frame in December 2020, Sky News reports.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “The whole of the NHS remains under severe pressure and unfortunately, long hospital handover delays on the day meant some of our patients waited longer for an ambulance to come to them in the community than we would want.
“We are working with all local partners across the health and care system to reduce delays so crews can respond to the next incident as quickly as possible.”
“We would like to apologise to Mrs Evans for the time it took to reach her. Our staff are working tirelessly to respond to patients as soon as we can.”