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Urgent care allegedly turns away Colorado woman with chest pains 10 minutes before open

911 call documents woman's emotional call for help
Posted at 4:44 PM, May 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-25 08:54:46-04

AURORA, Colo. — An Aurora, Colorado woman is criticizing an urgent care clinic's business practices after she said they refused to help her, while she was suffering a medical episode, simply because she was 10 minutes too early -- 10 minutes before they opened.

Talya Ruybal said she was driving to work before 8 a.m. local time when she began suffering severe chest pains. She pulled her car into the parking lot of the CareNow clinic on Parker Road and asked a woman walking in for help.

“The lady was walking up and she's like, 'Excuse me, we don't open for another 10 minutes,’” Ruybal said. “And I turned around, and by this time I'm bawling my eyes out, and I'm like, 'I can't breathe, I'm having some really bad chest pains.'  And she's like, 'I don't open for 10 minutes.'"

In a panic, Ruybal decided to call 911. Records show the call came in at 7:52 a.m. and the clinic opens at 8 a.m.

Denver-based KMGH obtained Ruybal’s recorded 911 call. After an emotional Ruybal explained the situation to the dispatcher, he asked whether she had Aspirin in her car.

Ruybal can be heard asking someone if they have Aspirin, which doctors recommend people take when they fear they may be having a heart attack.

“Who are you talking to, ma'am?" the dispatcher asked.

"The lady that's at the urgent care. I guess they're opening.  She says she can't just give it to me," Ruybal says.

Records show an ambulance arrived eight minutes after Ruybal called – around the same time the clinic opened its doors.

Doctors at the emergency room determined she was not having a heart attack. They said she was having an episode of supraventricular tachycardia or an elevated heart rate – a problem she has experienced in the past. Ruybal is now recovering and asking how medical professionals could turn her away when she was in obvious distress.

“It could have been a heart attack and that 10 minutes could have been my life," Ruybal said.

The clinic's managers have not responded to repeated calls asking about Ruybal’s complaints.

MORE | Listen to the woman's 911 call in the player below.