MAN DIES IN 999 MIX-UP, FAMILY CLAIMS

AN EPILEPTIC man died after an ambulance crew attended to the wrong victim in a freak tragedy of errors, his family claims.

Barry Seaton, 20, of Duke of York Avenue, Portobello, died after suffering an epileptic fit in the bath.

But his family say in an extraordinary twist of fate another man was also suffering a fit in a nearby street and the paramedics called for Barry Seaton assumed it was him.

Mother-of-five, Jennifer Seaton, said: Barry was just getting his life back on track. I m devastated.He was getting over his problems and was looking forward to the future.

I don t blame the ambulance service.To be honest, I think we had lost him anyway I had been giving him mouth-to-mouth for over half an hour before we got any proper medical assistance.

You don t expect two people to have an epileptic fit on the same street.

Mr Seaton s epilepsy was caused after a horrendous traffic accident when he was 13.

He was hanging on to the back of a bus on the Portobello estate with his friends when he was pulled under the wheels.

Mr Seaton went upstairs to have a bath at 5.30pm on Friday June 1. His brother, Stephen found him in the bath at 6.10pm and immediately called an ambulance.

But when the ambulance didn t arrive, he called the emergency services again.

Miss Seaton said: Stephen lifted him out of the bath and we immediately started resuscitation. The paramedics were telling us what to do over the phone I was hysterical.

I just couldn t get the water out of his chest. I could hear it but I just couldn t get it out.

I kept shouting, He s dead, he s dead .

Then another paramedic arrived in a van and managed to get some equipment for Barry from the other ambulance to drain the water out of his lungs.

Both men had stopped breathing and were taken to hospital.

The other man survived.

His mother added: It s just a tragedy. I keep waiting for him to come through the door.

I really thought all my bad times were over.

Mr Seaton, a former Kettlethorpe High School pupil, leaves two sisters, Donna, 25 and Vicky, 21, and two brothers, Stephen, 19 and David, 16.

A spokesman for the ambulance service said a rapid response vehicle was sent to Mr Seaton s house within four minutes and was backed up by a further ambulance.

She said: We then received another call for the incident in Clifford Avenue and an ambulance reached the location within seven minutes. We obviously extend our sympathies to the family of the boy who died.

Mr Seaton s funeral service, will be held at 1pm on Tuesday June 12 at St Helen s Church, Barnsley Road, Wakefield.