Yesterday was supposed to be a day of meeting friends and exchanging gifts and cards. However, a phone call from my great grandmother’s carer soon had these plans cast out onto the wind and blown away to be seen nevermore.
She informed me that my grandma had had a nasty fall and had gotten one hell of a cut on her head. Usually, my grandparents deal with all things relating to her and her care, but seen as it was their anniversary, they were away on a mini vacation.
And my mother, the only other family member nearby with a car, was working.
So I quickly called my friend and he kindly ran me to the other side of town. To cut a long story short, I accompanied my grandma to the hospital in the ambulance and it was here that she received a number of stitches to her scalp and had numerous tests, such as ECGs and what not.
However, she has quite severe dementia and was getting extremely anxious and distressed because she couldn’t understand why we were there. When the hospital decided to discharge her, I explained I didn’t have a car and that she would require hospital transport. She has mobility issues and really, really struggles getting into cars anyway, so I was sincerely hoping the hospital staff would help me.
They informed me that she’d probably be waiting until 10pm, if not longer, for hospital transportation…and it was only 5pm by this time.
They then proceeded to dump both me and my frail 95 year old great grandmother in the A&E waiting room, which is a cold, drafty place for even the hardiest of souls, let alone a little old lady in a bloodied dress and bed socks and slippers. She was confused and frightened and was refusing to drink and was gradually becoming more and more anxious. My phone battery was low, no taxis were available to come fetch us and my mother hadn’t finished work so was unaware of our predicament. Panic set in and as my grandma is profoundly deaf, the whole waiting room could hear our repetitive conversation (“Why can’t you bring your car?” “I don’t have a car, Grandma.” “Why am I here?” “You bumped your head and needed to see the doctor. I promise I’m trying to get us home as quickly as possible.” x10). I felt so powerless and was trying to keep the tears from affecting my voice. But then something amazing happened…
Patients banded together to assist us. A kind lady told me she’d bring her car around and take us as her husband would be okay for a little while on his own and a man wheeled the wheelchair back inside once I’d gotten my grandma in the car (with a lot of difficulty).
I was almost crying with the overwhelming gratitude I felt. In a dire situation in which not even the hospital would help us, people with their own individual ailments chose to help us, expecting nothing in return. Thanks for the extreme kindness of a few complete strangers, I got my grandma home safely and was able to get her comfortable and relaxed again.
Faith in humanity? Hmm. It’s somewhat restored 🙂
Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas!