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Home > Topics > Legislation & Funding
June 05, 2014

Uninsured man chooses death over expense of ambulance

He told a friend he was afraid to call 911 because of how much it would cost

By EMS1 Staff

NORMAN, Okla. — Days before he died, an Oklahoma man told his neighbor he was having trouble breathing, but didn’t want to call 911 because he didn’t have insurance, and was afraid of how much it would cost.

“I feel so responsible because I would have called 911,” the neighbor, Lori, told NewsOK.

She lived next door to Allen, 53, for about six months, and the two became friends that talked about books and movies. He confided in her that he had been trouble breathing and complained of pain in his left arm.

“Why didn’t you call 911?” she asked.

“I don’t have insurance,” he said.

Lori tried to convince him it didn’t matter, and that he should call for help.

“If I die, I die,” he said.

She became concerned when she didn’t hear from for a few days soon after, and he didn’t answer the door.

Allen died alone in his apartment.

The last phone call he made was to Lori, probably to tell her he didn’t feel well, she said.

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