A BUS firm has apologised after a sick passenger who was gasping for breath and pleading with a driver to call an ambulance had the doors slammed shut on her.

Linda Mountain, 53, who suffers from a chronic lung disease, was staggering to clamber off the bus and expected the driver to call for help after fellow passengers ignored her.

But she has told how he shut the doors and drove off leaving a young girl at a bus stop to comfort her until she got a breathing attack under control.

The mum of five said: “It was absolutely horrendous. I had a really bad turn. It felt like I had a golf ball in my throat and someone had stuck two fingers up my nose. I was gasping for air.”

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Mrs Mountain was catching the bus home from a hospital appointment in Southampton city centre when she was hit with breathing difficulties.

“I tapped a girl in front of me on the shoulder and said I need an ambulance but she didn’t take any notice and put her headphones on,” she said.

She ambled, inhaler in hand, to the front of the bus to speak to the driver.

“I said I need an ambulance. Get me an ambulance. But there was no reaction.

He just looked right through me.

I got off the bus to sit on a bench and he just closed the doors and drove off.”

A teenager saw she was in distress and sat with her for more than half an hour until the breathing attack passed and she could catch another bus home.

Mrs Mountain, from Sholing, who used to drive buses until she was signed off sick three years ago, said: “I’m so angry. If it was me I would have called for an ambulance immediately.

It could have been an elderly lady having heart attack.

“I’m disappointed that no one bothered to help. I know everybody is scared of everyone these days but they could see I was gasping for breath.”

The incident happened on the number 12 bus in Woolston.

First Bus said in a statement its driver did not recall Mrs Mountain speaking to him but said it offered “sincere apologies” if she felt she was not given any help.

“Had the driver realised that she was feeling so unwell, or had she approached him directly to request an ambulance was called, he would have called one for her immediately.

“We hope she is feeling better now and has recovered from what must have been a distressing incident for her.”