Response stories

REAct helped a client with high fever whose call for ambulance service was ignored

The REAct project was approached by a woman client who needed urgent medical attention. The woman who was a participant in the OST program made this phone call to the REActor as a last resort. She said through her tears that she was dying and she was very scared. The woman had leg ulcers and complained of severe pain and high fever.

The client had tried to call for an ambulance, but instead of help she received nothing but a barrage of hurtful insults. The medics told her that since she had a history of drug use in the past she had to know how to best protect herself, and was advised to bandage the wounds and stop bothering them, because there was a surge of COVID-19-related calls for them to respond to. The woman said she was involved in the OST program and was unable to go pick up her drugs because of her condition, but they told her that the ambulance service had nothing to do with this situation and that the doctors from the OST-dispensing site had to take care of her treatment.

Immediately after the phone call, the REActor paid a house visit to the woman and called an ambulance. This time the ambulance arrived and the client was taken to the hospital’s infectious diseases unit. Presenting with a temperature of 38.6°C, the woman was hospitalized, given the necessary injections and prescribed treatment. The client is currently recovering and gives her sincere thanks for the help and the quick response.