'I had an epileptic fit after I was left stranded on a Stagecoach bus alone' claims Gloucester resident
LEFT alone on a bus in freezing temperatures at night, epileptic Paul Prouse, from Longlevens, feared the worst when his driver hopped off the bus at the end of his shift.
A replacement driver was due to take over as the Stagecoach bus from Hereford to Gloucester pulled over in Ross-on-Wye.
But due to icy road conditions and heavy snow a replacement driver didn't show so he was left alone.
Paul, 32, suffers from post concussion syndrome after a crash in 2005 and fatigue or stress can bring on an epileptic seizure. Minutes after the driver departed at 8.30pm, Paul had an epileptic fit and blacked out.
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He came round an hour later and called the emergency services himself.
Speaking about the incident which happened at the end of last month, he said:"It was very stressful and a frightening experience to be left alone, particularly as it was so cold," he said.
"Luckily I had my mobile phone with me and called the emergency services. The paramedics arrived with the police, who took him to his parent's house in Longlevens.
"When I complained to Stagecoach, all I got was a letter saying they had a duty of care to passengers and drivers and that they were sorry," he said.
"This shouldn't have happened. Stagecoach should at least reimburse the emergency services for wasting their time and give me a formal apology.
"It is disgraceful."
Paul, who works part-time for the Headway charity treating people with brain injuries, said it was a traumatic experience for him and his parents, who didn't see their son until 11.15pm that night.
A spokesman for Stagecoach said: "We were very concerned to hear of this issue when it was brought to our attention.
"Safety is our absolute priority and during extreme weather conditions, it can be necessary to suspend services in certain areas to protect the safety of our customers and staff.
"This particular matter is currently being handled by our claims department and is still being investigated. As a result, we are not able to provide any further information at this time."
Amanda Cleaver of the Epilepsy Society, said the incident underlined how little most people know of epilepsy. She said: "It's a very individual and unrecognised condition."