A MAN who was suffering a stroke and had to wait almost two hours for an ambulance was “let down by the system,” family and friends said.

Lyndon Clark, who lived in Conway Road, Pontypool was playing dominoes with friends at the Twyn-y-Ffrwd when he suffered a stroke.

The 63-year-old died a few days later in hospital.

Friends Joyce Gregory and Kathryn White-Burns have now voiced their anger that their late friend was waiting for one hour and 50 minutes for an ambulance.

Mrs Gregory said: “We were playing dominoes when we looked round and saw Lyndon fall forward onto the table. His mouth had dipped on the one side.

“The first 999 call was at 8.25pm. Come 9pm there was still nothing. I am very angry at what has happened.”

The friends also claimed that when a paramedic arrived at 9.40pm, the worker had only been “10 minutes away”.

Ms White-Burns said: “By 9.10pm he had started to lose consciousness. We did everything we could.

“When the paramedic came he was fuming. He told us he had only been 10 minutes away in Pontnewynydd waiting for any incoming calls.

“The call got to him after 9.20pm.”

The paramedic also called for an ambulance which arrived at 10.15pm.

Wife Lyn Clark has now spoken publicly that she believes her husband had been “let down”.

“I am heartbroken over what has happened,” she said.

“The ambulance should have arrived when it was meant to.

“I am feeling very disappointed by the system.”

She added: “Things like budget cuts are bound to cause problems. But I feel the system now needs a big change so it does not happen to others.”

Mr Clark’s friends are also calling for a “dramatic” change to the system.

“I feel really upset that Lyndon was let down by the system,” said Mrs Gregory.

“It was not the ambulance workers at fault.

“The system needs changing. We do not want this to happen to anyone else.”

She added: “Some people have made complaints to the ambulance to raise their concerns.”

The director of operations for Welsh Ambulance, Richard Lee, offered his condolences to Mr Clark’s family and noted there had been “significant handover delays”.

He said: “We received four emergency calls regarding Mr Clark. All of these calls were prioritised as our second highest response category. This meant that only a patient in cardiac arrest would have received a higher priority than Mr Clark.

“Pressures across the health system, including significant handover delays at local hospitals, meant that were unable to respond sooner to Mr Clark’s call. Clearly this delay in providing assistance was not the service we would want to provide.

“We are not aware of Mr Clark’s family having approached us directly with any concerns, but we would be very prepared to meet with them.”