Judy Gallagher, 68, sits at the kitchen table in her Sylvan Lake home on Tuesday. Bandages cover her left wrist after she was injured while being taken to Red Deer hospital on Jan. 31. Photo by Kaylyn Whibbs/Black Press Media

Sylvan Lake senior injured when ambulance gurney flips at Red Deer hospital

A Sylvan Lake senior suffered a number of injuries on her way by ambulance to Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.

Judy Gallagher, 68, was taken to hospital on Jan. 31 suffering from pneumonia. As she was being taken into the hospital on a gurney, it flipped as it was being lifted over a curb, landing on top of her.

Gallagher was left with broken bones in her arm, a broken rib, an injured shoulder, as well as bruising on her face and left side of her body.

“It was one of the worst things I ever went through, and I don’t know if I’d ever want to phone the ambulance again or not,” says Gallagher.

“We’re supposed to feel safe with that, but I sure as hell don’t.

“I mean, they’re supposed to be professionals, but one girl didn’t listen to the other one,” recalled Gallagher this week of the incident.

She was in hospital for a little over two weeks overall.

Gallagher says she has no timeline for her recovery, as she is waiting to meet with a specialist to discuss the broken bones in her arm.

The injuries are preventing her from being able to drive her car or wash her own dishes, forcing her to accept the help of friends and hire assistance for around the house.

“If this hadn’t happened, I would be pretty much on the go again,” commented Gallagher.

In an email statement, Alberta Health Services said, “this was an extremely unfortunate incident, and again, we apologize to the patient for the distress this caused.

“This patient was injured when the ambulance crew was attempting to navigate a snowy curb, and the stretcher carrying the patient tipped onto its side.”

Gallagher says there was no snow on the curb and she questions why they were pulling the stretcher over the curb when there are ramps available.

The AHS statement continues to say medical care was provided to the patient at the scene and she was quickly transferred to the hospital.

“AHS has strict standards in place to ensure patient safety during transport. We are conducting an investigation into this incident,” the statement concludes.

Gallagher has been in contact with a lawyer in regard to the incident.

Alberta Health Services Central Zone

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