French police are investigating the death of a young woman who was apparently mocked by emergency services after her distress call was not taken seriously. Naomi Musenga, 22, dialled France's emergency number on December 29th of last year complaining of severe stomach pains. Thankfully, all emergency calls are recorded so the three minute clip of the call has been obtained by her family who were disgusted to hear Musenga's voice begging for help, saying "It hurts all over, I am going to die" and the emergency services operators laughing to one another. The unnamed woman at the end of the line can be heard telling Musenga "You're going to die, certainly, one day just like everyone else" before audibly mocking her cries for help with her colleague and making racist remarks about her last name.
The operator refuses to take Naomi seriously, and instead ends the call by telling her to call her doctor for a house visit after just a three minute long conversation. Five hours later, Musenga's pain had continued to get worse until she had been forced to phone emergency services again in desperation to be put through to an operator who recognised the urgency and called an ambulance to her house. At that point, it was too late, and the 22 year old passed away shortly after arriving at the hospital from a heart attack. Musenga had suffered from multiple organ failure. The incident has prompted a public outcry and has renewed calls in the region for increased funding for health services. Questions are also being asked about how emergency service staff are trained.
Naomi called the French 911, she told one of the operators she felt like she was about to die from the intense stomach pain. They laughed and replied: "Everybody dies someday day." Naomi died a few hours later at age 22. #JusticePourNaomi https://t.co/ppgHoqi0Zh— Awo (@Awoawo6) May 5, 2018
The emergency services operator is now facing potential charges of 'failing to assist a person in danger' and has been suspended from her post as the investigation unfolds. Musenga's family are planning to file a lawsuit in the coming days, and their lawyer spoke to AFP to talk about their anger: "All we know for now is that there was a quick deterioration of organ functions which led to Naomi's death, but we don't know what caused this rapid failure. Would things have turned out differently if the emergency services had intervened faster?" French Health Minister Agnes Buyzn posted on Twitter she was 'deeply outraged' and had ordered an inquiry into the 'serious failures' by the emergency services, she is set to meet with emergency practitioners next week to talk about the tragic case.