Cork woman had no phone coverage to call an ambulance for her toddler

A Co Cork mother has expressed anger at Eircom after she was unable to make an emergency call when her toddler had a seizure.

Cork woman had no phone coverage to call an ambulance for her toddler

There is no mobile phone service in the area where she lives and the young mother also has no access to a landline. Lucy Stephens said she and her partner have repeatedly asked the telecommunications company for a landline at her home in East Cork, due to the lack of mobile phone reception.

Their concerns came to a head when she discovered her young son convulsing on Friday. The mother of three boys found two-year-old Seán lying on the living room floor.

“His eyes were glazed over, his face was purple and there was water pouring out of his mouth. I picked him up and he went limp in my arms,” she said.

Unable to call an ambulance due to the lack of mobile reception in Fana na gCrann, the Dungourney estate where her family has lived since January, Lucy ran from the house and screamed for help.

Aided by a neighbour, she carried Seán to the nearby national school in the hope it had either a nurse or someone with first-aid training or a working phone.

Fortunately, the school principal’s brother, a GP, was nearby.

He determined Seán was suffering from a seizure, brought on by a high temperature. He tended to Seán and brought his temperature under control.

While Seán is now well, bar a chest infection, Lucy is angry her repeated requests for a phoneline have not been granted by Eircom.

“What would happen if someone was having a heart attack? What would we do? I’m not asking for fibre broadband, all we want is a phone. We’re not looking for it for free, we will pay our contract,” said Lucy, whose story came to light on the Opinion Line on Cork’s 96fm.

Eircom, meanwhile, said it was not contacted during the development at the Fana na gCrann estate.

“The works required may include civil, construction or road works. Once the assessment is completed, we will be in a position to advise Ms Stephens of the service options available,” it said.

Eircom added that it “would like to apologise to Ms Stephens for any inconvenience caused”.

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