Donna Gilby Short Biography
Donna Gilby left her flat just after 8am on Tuesday morning for a doctor’s appointment when she slipped and fractured her foot.
Now the 47-year-old’s family wants the world to see the photograph of her on the freezing pavement – face-down and unable to move – as her friends and neighbours rallied round, covering her with blankets and duvets to keep her warm.
They also called 999 for the mother-of-one, from Cwmaman, who suffered from an irregular heart beat and had two mini-strokes, and alerted her family who live nearby.
Donna Gilby Died
Her father Gareth Gilby, 74, a former factory worker, said: ‘We then called the ambulance service and told them Donna was slipping in and out of consciousness – that must have been somewhere between 8 and 8.30am.’
‘The call handler told us they were dealing with ‘a heavy influx of calls’ and that they’d be with her ‘as soon as possible’.
‘When there was still no sign an hour later we called again – this time we were told they were ‘doing their best’ but that they ‘didn’t know when they would get to her’.
He adds that the ambulance finally arrived shortly before two o’clock and rushed his daughter to Prince Charles hospital in Merthyr Tydfil.
But, in the early hours of the morning, Donna suffered a cardiac arrest and passed away.
‘We still can’t really believe it,’ adds Gareth.
‘She was as good as gold and always put others before herself – she’d do anything for anyone.
‘As a result she put her own problems second, like the fact that she’d struggled with her weight and ill-health for years.’
The 47-year-old’s nephew James Perkins, a 28-year-old construction worker, says he had just been celebrating his own 13-month-old son coming out of intensive care at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant when he got the devastating news.
‘My boy had been touch-and-go with bronchiolitis, so I’d been showing my mates in work photos of him looking well again when I took the call about my auntie.
‘I just can’t believe it – it’s cruel. Her poor little girl. Every Christmas from now on is going to be a reminder of her losing her mum.
‘Thankfully this is a strong family unit and she’ll be well looked after, but I’m so sad for her.’
In a statement from the Welsh Ambulance Service, Chief Executive Jason Killens said: ‘We were deeply saddened to hear about the death of Ms Gilby and would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to her family.