A widow told who struggled to keep her 42 year-old husband alive after he suffered a heart attack in their home, spoke tearfully of her disappointment yesterday that it took an ambulance crew 40 minutes to arrive to  render medical assistance.

Speaking at an inquest into the death of Iona Marius Leva, at 24 the Maples, Ballyhaunis, his wife, Maria said she kept doing CPR on her husband until an ambulance arrived from Tuam, on June 11 last. 

At the inquest hearing yesterday in Castlebar Ms Leva told the Coroner for Mayo, Pat O’Connor  “I think I kept him alive until twenty past two.

It was too long", she claimed. The ambulance came at 2.30 p.m. He took his last breath at 2.30 p.m.

 She explained that the paramedics worked on him for a while but they couldn’t bring him back”.

 Ms. Leva told the inquest her husband had been in apparent good health and he became ill suddenly

“His last words were ‘I can’t breathe, my chest is painful. Then he stopped breathing”.

 Consultant pathologist, Dr. Fadel Bennani, who carried out a post  mortem, gave the cause of death as ischemic heart disease due to occlusive coronary atheroma.

Dr. Bennani said it was very unusual for a man of 42  to die of a heart condition but it does happen.

 Sympathising with the wife and family of the deceased, the coroner, Pat O’Connor told Ms. Leva “you did all you could over a 30 minute period to keep your husband alive”.

 The coroner returned a verdict of death from natural causes in accordance with the medical evidence.

Sergeant Regina Carley, Courts Presenter for An Garda Siochana, joined the coroner in expressing sympathy with Maria Leva and the family of the  deceased.


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