Last November, thunderstorm asthma gripped the city of Melbourne, tragically taking the lives of nine people in the freak weather-related incident.
One of these victims was 20-year-old Hope Carnevali, who, following her unexpected death, has been described as a “kind-hearted, beautiful, gorgeous little girl” by her devastated family.
Now, almost six months since her passing, her grieving mother, Danielle Carnevali, has opened up to 60 Minutes about how she wished she could’ve done more to save her daughter.
“It’s indescribable. I’m watching my daughter just disintegrate, barely able to move, and it was traumatic,” she says, remembering the countless triple-zero calls she made that afternoon as they waited for an ambulance.
Hope died in her mother’s arms on the front lawn of her family home before the ambulance arrived.
“The hardest part for me as a mum is I had that chance of saving my daughter’s life taken away from me.”
“Had I been told that an ambulance wasn’t in the vicinity, it wasn’t dispatched, they had none left, I would have put her in that car in a heartbeat."
“I would have had her at that hospital, which is about six minutes away, and she would still be here with us today.”
“I have to live with that guilt because she asked me to help her, and I didn’t help her.”
As previously reported by The Age Ambulance Victoria ran out of ambulances to answer the calls of acutely ill people; disaster-trained field doctors and police officers were called into help transport those suffering to hospital.
Thunderstorm asthma occurs when a storms stirs up pollen in the air and can impact people who don’t usually suffer from asthma (even still, one in 10 Australians do suffer from asthma, and it is most common in women over the age of 15).
If you are experiencing respiratory issues, seek medical attention immediately.