CHICAGO (CBS) — William Borudony suffered a heart attack on board an Amtrak train, and his wife and fellow passengers had trouble calling for help. He died, and his widow was left wondering if an emergency intercom could have helped save him.
His widow, Jenae Bourdony, spoke exclusively with the Morning Insiders about a cry for help no one heard on board an Amtrak train. She told CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole one simple item missing from her husband’s train car.READ MORE: State Farm Hiring 3,400 Employees, Including Some Fully Remote Workers
William and Jenae were planning a pleasant trip to Michigan, but he never arrived. Instead, he suffered a heart attack on board an Amtrak train before it ever left Union Station.
“It was very scary. You don’t expect it,” Jenae said. “It felt like, at the moment, it turned into a death tube.”
Jenae said her husband began feeling short of breath just after boarding the train, and began to panic. She and others tried running to neighboring cars and the platform to alert conductors, but couldn’t.
She said the doors to the platform were closed, as were the doors connecting the cars, and she couldn’t get out. Jenae said there also were no Amtrak personnel in their train car, and no emergency call buttons to alert staff.
“It was just chaos trying to find any way to notify somebody,” she said.
Amtrak confirmed there were no emergency call buttons on the train car where William died.
“When you’re in an emergency situation, you need things obvious, and there wasn’t anything that was obvious enough,” Jenae said.
Amtrak allowed CBS 2 on board the actual train where William suffered his heart attack, to show that the doors open with a simple press of a button.READ MORE: Cook County Opening 3 Mass Vaccination Sites This Week
However, Jenae said that was not the case on the day of their fateful trip, and again pointed to the lack of an emergency call button in each car.
Jenae said it took nearly 20 minute to get help.
“Another passenger and I were so desperate to notify somebody that we actually tried to pop out the emergency window,” she said.
They couldn’t get that emergency exit to open.
An Amtrak spokesperson acknowledged the emergency windows are heavy, and can be difficult to open.
The Amtrak police report from William’s death detailed the struggle to find help:
“A passenger heard ‘I can’t breathe,’ and asked for a doctor on board the train. However, she could not locate one, and due to the train being on the move, she pulled the emergency brake,” the report stated.
A conductor arrived once she pulled the brake, and used the on-board defibrillator to try to revive William.
Paramedics eventually showed up and took him to the hospital, but he died.
“I don’t want anybody else to have to through with this, because that feeling is going to be with me for the rest of my life,” Jenae said.MORE NEWS: Angel Thomas, 35, Struck and Killed While Entering Vehicle In West Garfield Park
Recently married and living in Japan, Jenae was traveling with William to meet her parents in Grand Rapids for the first time. They are now coming together as a family to help each other heal.