An 81-year-old grandmother suffered a near-fatal triple heart attack after she was forced to get off two Ryanair flights because staff couldn’t cope with her disabled son’s wheelchair.
Kathleen Dunne, of Wallasey, Wirral, suffered the cardiac arrest during her holiday in Malta on October 4, just weeks after arriving in the island country.
She was previously forced get off the flights to Malta as staff couldn’t fold her son Gary’s wheelchair.
Her heart attack caused her to be clinically dead for four minutes and her family say stress about her flight back to the UK may have contributed to her poor health.
Kathleen Dunne, pictured with her disabled son Gary, had a heart attack in Malta which caused her to be clinically dead for four minutes
Staff on the Ryanair flight told Kathleen they were unable to accommodate the wheelchair owned by her son Gary, 53, who has severe mobility problems
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, her youngest son David Dunne, 49, said: ‘One of the things the doctors asked when we got her back was did she suffer with stress.
‘We said she had never been stressed in her life, she always said what will be will be.
‘But then Gary said she had been very stressed with this flight.
He added he spoke to his mother after the flight from Manchester and she said ‘she had never been so embarrassed in her life’.
Mrs Dunne was left ‘humiliated’ after she was told to get off her Ryanair flight to Malta from Liverpool John Lennon Airport on August 28.
Staff told her they were unable to accommodate the wheelchair owned by Gary, 53, who has severe mobility problems.
After being re-booked on a flight the following day, she was horrified when she was again asked to disembark the aircraft because staff were struggling to fold the chair.
Ms Dunne, is a carer for Gary, who is also deaf as a result of a bout of measles as a baby.
After airport staff worked out how to fold the wheelchair the pair were rebooked on the next available flight which was departing from Manchester Airport.
But Ms Dunne and her son were again forced to get off the aircraft because staff were unable to fold the chair.
And she was ‘mortified’ when the pilot made an announcement saying the delay was caused by ‘the lady with the wheelchair’.
The pair were eventually allowed to board, only to watch staff struggling with the wheelchair through the cabin window.
But Ms Dunne became increasingly anxious as her flight home approached, and asked a friend to change it for her, according to her family.
Speaking after being told to get off the plane, Miss Dunne, of Wallasey, Wirral said: ‘It was horrible. I was shaking, and it was so hard to explain what was going on to Gary because he can’t hear.
‘We have been flying with them for years and there has never been any problem. I didn’t feel like going on holiday after that.
‘The pilot said over the intercom ‘sorry for the delay it is not our problem, it is the problem of the lady with the wheelchair’.
‘People were saying I can’t believe he said that. I am still upset about it now.’
Her oldest son Alan Dunne said he got a text from Gary on the fourth of November to say his mum was not well.
He said when he called the phone a woman answered who was performing CPR on his mother.
He added the woman ‘was an angel as far as the family is concerned’.
Ms Dunne later returned to the UK in an air ambulance.
She is now being treated in Arrowe Park Hospital, in Upton, Wirral, where she is conscious and regaining strength, according to her family
Alan said she is receiving ‘fantastic’ care but fears his mum may need round-the-clock care when she leaves hospital.
Ryanair said wheelchair services at both airports are provided by outside companies, ‘at great expense to the airlines’.
A spokeswoman for OmniServ, which provides special assistance services at Liverpool Airport, apologised to Ms Dunne and her family for the incident.
OmniServ said: ‘Various members of the team worked tirelessly with Ms Dunne to ascertain if the wheelchair could be collapsed to meet the requirements.’
Ryanair has been approached by MailOnline for comment.