Plea ignored in haunting 000 call
The tragic final moments of Kylie Cay will haunt her family forever, as the Victorian woman's plea for help was brushed off as she lay on her bathroom floor dying.
The 44-year-old died in 2016 from injuries she has sustained days earlier when her partner Justin Turner ruthlessly beat her with a hammer.
She was found dead in her Port Fairy home on June 22, having suffered a ruptured spleen from the blunt force trauma she sustained in the attack days prior.
Turner was later convicted of manslaughter over Ms Cay's death and was sentenced to a maximum of 12 years in jail.
Ms Cay's horrific death also sparked an inquest after Ambulance Victoria stopped an ambulance being sent to the dying woman's house.
On average, one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner.
Almost 10 women a day are hospitalised for assault injuries at the hands of a spouse or domestic partner.
Every day in May, as part of Domestic and Family Violence Awareness Month, news.com.au will tell the stories behind those shocking statistics.
Last year, a court heard Ms Cay managed to contact a friend and asked them to call triple-0 as she was in pain and having difficulty breathing.
Despite this, Ambulance Victoria downgraded the call and cancelled the ambulance dispatch, prompting a call from triage worker Jarrod Freckleton instead.
Distressing audio of the call was played in court, revealing Ms Cay moaning in agony as she begged for help that would never arrive.
During the conversation, a clearly distraught Ms Cay told Mr Freckleton that she had broken her ribs days early in a domestic violence incident, saying she could "barely hold the phone".
"Can somebody please hurry up? I'm about to go unconscious, mate," she was heard saying.
When Mr Freckleton asked her why she was about to lose consciousness she said it was "from the pain".
"Please," she said.
Before this call, a triple-0 operator had already told the 44-year-old an ambulance was on the way but during this conversation Mr Freckleton could be heard telling her that she should go see a doctor but she didn't need an ambulance.
"Our recommendation is you need to see a doctor in the next four hours. For this you don't need an emergency ambulance," he said.
"I do," she said, to which Mr Freckleton replied, "You don't".
In the audio played to the inquest, he was heard telling Ms Cay the cost of an ambulance would only be covered in an emergency, and her situation was "not considered a medical emergency".
"Are you f***ing kidding me?" she said.
Ms Cay told Mr Freckleton she had no money for a taxi to take her to the hospital and that there was "no one" who could take her.
The call disconnected, and Mr Freckleton told the court he did not have the capacity to call her back.
No ambulance was dispatched to her home.
Ms Cay was found dead the following afternoon by her son and mother.
Kylie Cay died 'knowing help wasn't coming'
In an emotional statement shared with NCA NewsWire last year, Ms Cay's brother, Heath Cay, said he and the rest of the family are "continuously haunted by the thoughts of her last moments being in extreme pain, begging for help".
"She died in isolation, knowing that help was not coming," he said.
"These two people who discovered her body were unfamiliar with death, and were forced to see their loved one in the most horrible of circumstances. Those visions cannot be unseen."
A previous court heard of the horrific extent of Ms Cay's injuries suffered at the hands of Turner.
During the assault he punched and kicked Ms Cay, held a knife to her throat, dragged her by her hair and smashed her feet with a hammer.
"Despite her injuries, she managed to crawl out of the house into the backyard and hid in the kennel with the family dog for an hour while you were looking for her," Judge Kevin Bell said during Turner's sentencing.
"She found in the kennel with the dog the safety you deprived her of in her home."
Alone and terrified, Ms Cay managed to call an ambulance to take her to the hospital on the evening of the assault.
It was there that she told the police what happened, revealing she was terrified Turner would kill her.
She told the police that he assaulted her most days and had previously choked her until she lost consciousness.
She stayed in the hospital for two days before being told she was well enough to return home.
It was just a day later, during the early hours of June 21, when she found herself in excruciating pain from a ruptured spleen that would ultimately end her life.
Originally published as Plea ignored in haunting 000 call