Neil Martin, an Amazon delivery driver shared with the Liverpool Echo, that his boss at the agency told him to complete his shift after he had apparently suffered symptoms that were later deemed to be a heart attack.
Neil, 46, the father of two, had experienced dizziness, cold sweats, and chest pains while he was doing his job, sometime around 2 pm on March 16. He began his shift by packing up his assigned packages from the Knowsley Amazon depot and went forward. He was assigned to deliver the packages to the Wigan area on that day.
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The Timeline Of How Things Took Place With The Amazon Delivery Driver
Neil was subcontracted to Amazon via a private agency, Deva Logistics. When he sensed those worrying symptoms, he decided to go to the hospital to get himself checked.
He apparently tried to call the Deva Logistics office but got no answer and later dropped a text message explaining his situation.
Liverpool Echo reported seeing the message which said: “Mate can you call me, am getting chest pains and keep going dizzy am gonna have to go and get checked out.”
Neil shared with the Liverpool Echo: “I started getting pains in my chest, feeling dizzy and I was getting sweaty. I ignored it for a minute or two but I started thinking no, this does not feel right.
“So I pulled over and phoned the office, but it rang out, so I texted the work mobile number that I was getting chest pains and the manager rang me back. I asked if someone could come and get my packages because I wanted to go to the hospital. They told me someone could come and take half my route off me but that they couldn’t do any more than that.”
A representative for Deva Logistics stated that the company had indeed sent a driver to help him out and believed that Neil had been relieved of his duties. According to article from the Liverpool Echo, Neil strongly refuted these claims and shared that he felt he was left with no option but to carry on with his duties.
He shared: “I didn’t realize how serious it was at the time. But it went on right through the afternoon, just getting worse and worse. The dizzy spells were so bad I kept having to pull over because I couldn’t see anything.”
Neil stuck with his daily duties despite his symptoms and dropped the van at the Amazon depot at 6.30 pm.
Neil said: “When I got back to the depot my manager asked me if I was alright to work tomorrow and said he had a smaller route over the water I can go on. I said I need to go to the hospital first before I start thinking about packages.”
Neil went back home and then to the A&E at Whiston Hospital with his partner, Susan Martin. Doctors sensed that something was horribly wrong as his heart rate was around 320 beats per minute than the regular 85.
Neil was kept at the hospital for 10 more days and went through extensive testing which included an angiogram. He was also prescribed strong medicines to keep his heart rate under check.
After Neil was stabilized he was sent to Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital for an MRI scan, following which he was allowed to go back home to rest.
Neil told the Liverpool Echo: “The doctors told me I had already had a heart attack and asked me why I had waited so long before coming in.
“I was disgusted. It made me feel like delivering packages was more important than my health. I am not blaming them for me having a heart attack, but I feel like I could have died on that road and they didn’t care,” he added.
The Amazon Partner Replied To This Incident, As Reported By The Echo
Echo also reported what the representative for Deva Logistics said:
“We take the safety of the independent, self-employed contractors we engage with, very seriously, and we are still investigating how the incident was handled.
“As soon as we learned Neil was unwell, one of our four standby contractors was sent to relieve him of the load, and as far as we were concerned Neil had received the support that he had requested. We were not aware that Neil had been left with packages. Had we been aware we would have immediately sent another driver to relieve him.”
“We have people on standby specifically to cover routes which need support at short notice, including a driver needing to finish early, illness, or in the case of traffic issues or vehicle breakdown. A couple of days later our site manager texted Neil to see how he was. Neil explained what was happening, thanked the manager, and a thumbs up emoji for getting in touch and would keep him informed on his progress.”
The Amazon logistics partner also reported that Neil had called one of their managers and had apparently “demanded money” to prevent him from going to the press. The time of the call that they suggested, however, was after Neil had already spoken to the Echo.
The Amazon driver denied these allegations immediately.
The Echo had tried to make contact with Amazon regarding this incident.
A spokesman for Amazon replied: “Safety is a top priority and we wish the delivery driver a speedy recovery. We have launched an immediate investigation with the delivery service provider who engages the driver.”
Image credits: Neil Martin, Tony Webster-Flickr