Daughter of Heart Attack Victim Defends Bingo Hall Staff

According to several bingo news sources an incident at a Gala bingo hall sparked outrage in the bingo community. According to witnesses Williamina Cornes ‘turned blue’ and suffered a fatal heart attack during a bingo game. Amazingly the caller refused to stop the game and continues to call the numbers. The caller continues even as paramedics tried to save the unconscious woman’s life. Bingo player Sharon Dunn, who saw the woman collapse, said she was disgusted about the decision to continue the game. Dunn told reporters from the Daily Record “It was clear the woman was in a bad way. She was struggling to breathe and started to turn blue and people were quite distressed. But a woman came on stage and announced it was company procedure always to carry on with the bingo. People couldn’t believe it.”

Dunn said that a staff member attempted to render first aid until paramedics arrived. Dunn described what happened next and said “They began all the procedures and even had what appeared to be a defibrillator machine out. The woman was eventually carried out with a blanket over her and we feared the worst. All the time, the caller was continuing to call out the numbers. We couldn’t believe it. A bit of decency and compassion would have been nice.” Dunn also said that several outraged players left the hall. The incident was widely reported on bingo blogs and online bingo sites. A Gala spokesperson explained the hall’s policy and stated “Our initial approach in such instances is to create as calm an environment as possible, to reduce the stress for the customer in question, their friends and family and our qualified first aider until the emergency services arrive. In this case, it was felt the best way of dealing with this particular incident was to continue with the bingo. Our staff are trained to deal with situations like this and carried out all the correct procedures until the paramedics arrived.”

Support for the staff at the hall has come from an unexpected source; the woman’s daughter. Linda McKee, who was with her mother at the hall the night she collapsed, said that the staff had been “a great help.” “a great help”. told reporters “The staff looked after me very well until the paramedics arrived. So thanks again, Gala staff.” Several players have sided with the hall’s staff and say that more disruption would have been caused by stopping the game. Some unhappy players are accusing Gala of caring more about money than a human life. One player said on a local media site “Bingo before life. This is Scotland 2012.”

The caller at the hall, Joe Casey, has received support from several players. A message posted on Facebook expressed support for Casey and his decision to continue the game. The post states “We would like Joe to know all his friends are behind him 100 per cent. It has always been policy in most bingo clubs to continue to call no matter what is taking place within the hall. People who know Joe personally know he is a kind-hearted soul who has been devastated by this incident.” Another player, Liz Melia, posted “Joe doesn’t make the rules, he just follows them. It’s a disgrace for anyone to blame Joe for this.” Hopefully both sides can move on and contimue to enjoy the entertainment and excitement provided by bingo games.