actually don't know if i saved someone's life yesterday, possibly,...
At the very least it is a catchy title. The experience that prompted me to write it was definitely interesting and eye-opening for me.
was going to meet my best friend in front of his house. We had an
appointment to go to a Jam session together.
had just gotten my bike out of storage and had almost biked of when one
of my neighbours spoke out softly from his open doorway "Could you help
me?" I reacted a bit annoyed,
since i was running late and didn't want to let my friend wait in the
cold. I assumed (there were some items in front of his feet) he needed
me to carry his shopping or something of that nature. As i
found out to my surpise and embarresment he was having a heart attack.
actually know this neighbour a little. We once had a very friendly
conversation on his doorstep. He is a nice, surinami man of 55. He is
also rather overweight.
as soon as i learned what he needed help with, i did my best to
aid him. He asked me to call an ambulance on my mobile as his own
mobile phone had broken a few days ago.
called the 1-1-2 number, they asked me some questions (age, medical
history and location) and then said they would be right over.
that we slowly made our way inside his home and to his armchair.
Strange enough i was very calm and relaxed by the side of this man who
might be dying. And only three minutes before i was a bit stressed
being late to
i talked to my neighbor, asking a lot of questions. About his age,
about his family, his medical history, his housing situation. Anything
really. I was trying to get him to relax and to reassure him by
speaking calmly of mundane things. Often i had to speak for him/guess
the answers a little since replying in longer sentences was taxing for
him. During some of our interaction he held my arm. Of course he was
very distraught and afraid, he had severe chest pains, was very short
of breath and had trouble walking the 4 meters to the couch. From what
he told me it turned out it was his third heart attack and the second
time he would be rushed to hospital by ambulance. I felt sorry for him.
only thing that did rattle me is that i suddenly realized that if he
developed cardiac arrest i would not know how to re-animate him. I have
never done a first aid course although i often thought about it. I will
definitely remedy that in the near future. I would have felt like
if had he died when a simple technique might have helped him.
ambulance and two paramedics arrived after about 5 to 10 minutes.
they hooked him up to a lot of equipment. To his thumb they connected
type of notebook heart monitor. A printer spat out continues data about
his heart beat and rate. They put a needle in his right hand and
administered some medicine. They also had some "suction cups" on his
asked me questions. I told them all i knew. Then they asked me to fetch
his medicines (he had told me they were in his kitchen) and read out
the labels to them. To my
surprise he had -literally- twenty different boxes of pills on his
counter. I felt even worse for the guy, although of course i did not
show it. I did not think pessimism or overt pity would help at this
stage. I took all the medicine boxes and read
out the names.
checking their computer's data and asking questions they decided
to take him to the same hospital where i once got sterilized.
neighbor whispered a phone number that i should call to inform his
son-in-law and asked me to take his house key out of his pocket, turn
out the lights and lock his house. I did.
they rushed off.