Feb 22, 2021 12:03 AM

Family alleges botched 911 call caused Kansas woman's death

Posted Feb 22, 2021 12:03 AM
Cathryn McClelland photo courtesy Landess Funeral Home
Cathryn McClelland photo courtesy Landess Funeral Home

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. (AP) — The family of a Kansas woman who died after collapsing at her home is suing the Kansas City, Missouri, police and fire departments, alleging 911 dispatchers took too long to send an ambulance after the woman’s 8-year-old son called for help.

Cathryn McClelland suffered a heart attack at her Prairie Village home in July 2019 while alone with her son and a baby daughter.

Her son, Joel, called 911 and gave dispatchers the family’s address within a minute, according to the lawsuit. The call bounced to a Kansas City, Missouri, tower, which was closest the house, and then was sent to the city’s police and fire departments.

Recordings of the call show dispatchers questioned if the boy was giving the correct address, in part because a software program showed a different location, KCTV reported. Dispatchers eventually reached McClelland’s husband, who was out of state.

It took more than 10 minutes to dispatch an ambulance, according to the lawsuit.

Emergency responders were able to restart McClelland’s heart but she suffered oxygen deprivation and her family removed her from life support on July 22, 2019, the lawsuit said.

Representatives for the defendants declined to comment on pending litigation, KCTV reported.