Truro’s mayor said he was forced to wait 90 minutes for an ambulance earlier this week – during which he started to turn blue.
Steven Webb, 49, who was paralysed from the neck down when he jumped into a swimming pool at just 18, is now Britain’s first tetraplegic mayor.
He was elected to Truro City Council in 2017 and later elected mayor of his home city in Cornwall.
Steven has now revealed he was recently left waiting for an hour and half for an ambulance.
He says he suffered an autonomic dysreflexia attack on Monday (March 21) .
It increases blood pressure, lowers heart beats and can cause a stroke, seizure or cardiac arrest.
He said he dialled 999 and his blood pressure went to 230/160, he had a headache and was turning blue.
But the nearest ambulance was 50 miles away – and took 90 minutes to get to him.
Steven said: “If I wasn’t breathing, or was having a stroke, I’d say that was nearly game over.
”To me that is really dangerous. We had all the tablets we could, but we waited 90 minutes for the ambulance to arrive.”
He says the crew were ”amazing” when they got there and told him the nearest ambulance was 50 miles away.
A spokesperson for the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) said of Monday’s incident: “We are sorry that, due to the health and social care system being under severe pressure, some patients are having to wait longer for an ambulance.
”One of the reasons for this is due to the length of time it’s taking us to hand over patients into busy hospitals.
“We are working closely with NHS partners to address these delays, so our crews can get back out on the road for other patients.
”However, even with the additional resources we are making available, the number of ambulances currently waiting for prolonged periods of time at Emergency Departments inevitably impacts on our ability to respond to patients.”