Hope Carnevali.
Hope Carnevali.

‘We were lied to’: Family’s agony, thunderstorm asthma death

THE devastated family of a young woman who died while waiting almost an hour for help to arrive during the thunderstorm asthma event said they were lied to by the one authority they should have been able to trust - triple-0.

Hope Carnevali begged her mum not to let her die as she drew her last laboured breaths on the front lawn of her Western suburbs home on November 21, 2016.

Danielle and her two younger daughters watched on in horror as Hope slipped out of consciousness while waiting for the help they were told "was on the way".

By the time specially trained MICA paramedics arrived 45 minutes later, it was too late.

Danielle Carnevali has a strong message for the system that failed her daughter: "Don't lie to people on the phone".

"They're not promising to put $100 in your bank account, they're promising to save a life and they didn't do it," Ms Carnveali told the Herald Sun.

Hope Carnevali died after a thunderstorm asthma outbreak in Melbourne.
Hope Carnevali died after a thunderstorm asthma outbreak in Melbourne.

Danielle Carnevali and her two daughters, Tyne, 18, and London, 11, have become the third family to launch legal action against Ambulance Victoria and the emergency call taking service following the unprecedented wether event which killed 10 people.

Ms Carnevali said she immediately called triple-0 upon finding her daughter gravely ill, but her calls were twice disconnected.

A third call was met with repeated requests to "hold the line", with precious minutes passing before she was eventually transferred to ambulance operators.

The ninth victim of this Thunderstorm Asthma event Hoi-Sam Lau. Picture Yuri Kouzmin
The ninth victim of this Thunderstorm Asthma event Hoi-Sam Lau. Picture Yuri Kouzmin

 

Ann Peiris, and husband thunderstorm asthma victim Priyantha Peiris. Picture: supplied
Ann Peiris, and husband thunderstorm asthma victim Priyantha Peiris. Picture: supplied

Hope's uncle tried desperately to keep her alive, performing CPR for 30 minutes.

" (ESTA) dropped her from a priority zero, down to a priority one," Ms Carnevali said.

"That call taker made a mistake - that mistake cost Hope her life,"

"A beautiful, joyous of life was taken that day," she said.

The Carnevali family joins Ann Peiris and Ela Voong - two women who lost their husbands during the freak storm - in suing Ambulance Victoria and ESTA.

Ms Carnevali said she wants to hold the organisations to account.

"I don't want anyone else to go through this," she said.

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"You're always taught that when you need help, you call an ambulance,"

"I want people to be able to trust the ambulance again," she said.

Slater and Gordon National Practice Group Leader Barrie Woollacott, who is representing the Carnevalis, said the state's emergency response system was "designed to fail".

"If there were not enough ambulances to cope with the demand, why would you tell someone an ambulance was on the way when it wasn't?,"

"A small comfort for Hope's family … is that in future anyone facing a medical emergency will be told the truth and will have an opportunity to get medical help themselves at the nearest hospital," Mr Woollacott said.


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