'Relief and disgust': Hamze Ibrahim's family attacked online as Paramedics Association apologises

The grieving family of Hamze Ibrahim say they feel a mixture of relief and disgust after the Australian Paramedics Association (APA) apologised for falsely claiming a “violent mob” of “angry males” prevented the paramedics from treating the dying 25-year-old.

The family have been subjected to vicious social media trolls attacking them and the memory of Mr Ibrahim after the APA claimed paramedics were threatened by “irate” relatives and blamed them for the death of their loved one.

Hamze Ibrahim, 25, died at a Riverwood home.

Photo: Facebook

On Sunday, APA president Steve Pearce said "paramedics were forced to fend off angry males who eventually forced them to stop treating the patient who was in cardiac arrest and subsequently died".

But in a statement on Wednesday, the association said it had investigated the case and identified "factual inaccuracies" in its initial statement.

"APA (NSW) acknowledges that any statement in the previous media release to the effect that Mr Ibrahim’s family members either contributed or were in any way responsible for his death is wholly incorrect and should not have been published," the APA’s latest statement read.

"Likewise, APA (NSW) further acknowledges that at no time did Mr Ibrahim’s family members obstruct or threaten paramedics whilst they were administering medical assistance to Mr Ibrahim.”

"Hamze Ibrahim should be remembered for the fun-loving, caring and family driven man that he was," his lawyer said.

Photo: Facebook

Raed Rahal, a lawyer acting for the family, said they “feel a mixture of relief and disgust” as his wife, mother, siblings, relatives and friends prepared to lay Mr Ibrahim to rest on Wednesday.

“Relieved that they have been vindicated and disgusted that this was ever allowed to occur in the first place,” Mr Rahal said.

“Not only did the Ibrahim family have to deal with the now accepted untruthful comments made, but also the social media 'trolls' who both attacked the family and the memory of Mr Ibrahim,” Mr Rahal said.

“While it is pleasing that an investigation subsequent to the media release from the association uncovered these 'inaccuracies', the question that must be asked is why such an investigation was not undertaken before the public release of such reckless comments.”

Mr Rahal, a partner at Cambridge Law, told Fairfax Media that the APA sent its apology to Mr Ibrahim's family on Tuesday night.

He said they had agreed to the terms of the apology before it was publicly released.

The family were "keeping their options open" but would not discuss the matter further on Wednesday.

“Mr Ibrahim had a very large extended family living nearby. Many family members and friends came to Mr Ibrahim’s side when they heard of his death,” Mr Rahal said.

“The large number of people who did attend were emotional and many had difficulty accepting what had occurred, however, none were violent or threatening towards paramedics or police,” he said.

Hamze Ibrahim suffered from sleep apnoea and was booked to travel overseas for a gastric bypass the next day.

Photo: Supplied

Fairfax Media understands a female paramedic who attended the scene called police for assistance as she stood outside the unit in response to the sheer number of emotional and distraught people gathering at the property – not in response to aggression towards the health workers.

At one stage, her colleagues closed the door to the room in which they were treating Mr Ibrahim to prevent overcrowding. Some family members remained in the room with the paramedics and Mr Ibrahim while other relatives assisted the emergency workers by managing the number of people in the unit, Fairfax Media understands.

The APA’s initial statement mentioned the paramedics were responding to a suspected drug overdose, but Mr Rahal said Mr Ibrahim did not take drugs. He suffered from sleep apnoea and was booked to travel overseas to undergo a gastric bypass the following day.

Steve Pearce, Paramedic Association state secretary. The APA apologised for its initial statement concerning Mr Ibrahim's death.

Photo: Nick Moir

The Health Services Union (HSU) received a number of calls from paramedics in the area who were alarmed by the factual inaccuracies in the APA's initial statement.

The HSU paramedic members were also dismayed to see the association speaking publicly about a case involving the death of a patient, which they believed should not have happened out of respect to the family and the paramedics involved.

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