Family of Aiden Sagala who died after unknowingly drinking liquid meth lays complaint with St John over response

The family of Aiden Sagala, who died five days after unknowingly drinking liquid methamphetamine in a beer can, says a complaint's been laid with St John over their response.

Aiden's sister Angela told Newshub in an exclusive interview that when she requested immediate help, ambulance staff told her "no one was available".

Aiden's Samoan heritage meant everything to him.  His country's colours splashed across his bedroom wall. 

"He's a Samoan boy. He's very proud of that," Angela said. 

The Japanese anime characters he loved imprinted on his wallet. They're mementoes for his sister Angela Sagala, a doctor who is haunted by his passing.

"I couldn't save the one person that I really should have saved… was my baby brother," Angela told Newhsub

The sports-mad 21-year-old Christian collapsed at home after drinking what he thought was beer, given to him by a work colleague. 

Police have since confirmed some cans in a drug import they're investigating had liquid methamphetamine in them, while others contained only beer. 

On the evening of March 2, Angela received a call from her partner saying Aiden had collapsed and was screaming.

Angela arrived at home just after 8pm and called an ambulance.

"I was frustrated because all I got from them was, 'There's no one available. Sorry we can't give you an ETA on when an ambulance can get here'. I was so frustrated that night."

Aiden's condition deteriorated rapidly, but still, no ambulance. 

"When someone is in a cardiac arrest, that's priority number one. You're supposed to come," she said.

"I was performing CPR on my baby brother because he went from being okay to blue in an instant."

And so another call was made.

"I was screaming at my partner, 'Call the ambulance again'. I think it was the sixth call that they finally stayed on the line and I really didn't want to talk to them because I was like, 'I'm doing CPR and this was like the sixth time I called you', because they kept hanging up the phone on me."

In a statement to Newshub, St John’s General Manager of Clinical Effectiveness, Jon Moores. said the "workload at the time of the calls was significantly high". 

But that "the calls were appropriately triaged" or assessed and "the correct ambulance response priority assigned".

St John said the first 111 call was received at 8:09pm, and 26 minutes later at 8:35pm the incident was "retriaged" or reassessed. 

At 8:43pm a critical care paramedic arrived.

A St John online educational video describing the 111 process says emergency call staff won't stay on the line if the incident is deemed non-life threatening. 

St John would not say exactly how that assessment was made, or how the "significantly high workload" impacted their response.

Aiden died in hospital five days later, his death is being investigated by the Coroner.