What on earth happened to humanity? What happened to respect for human life? What happened to compassion?
But wait….I’m getting ahead of myself. Many of the people who read this here blog are not on twitter and don’t know the circumstances that brought on this little WHAT? parade. So let me tell the story first.
Last night after work I headed on over to a complex in sunninghill to pick up a set of keys from the supervisor as a favour for a friend. As I turned into the entrance of the complex I heard shouting, saw a bunch of young men run away and realised that one of the young men was slowly making his way towards the entrance. When he got to the entrance he collapsed, and it was only then that I realised he was covered in blood. Adrenaline kicked in and I was phoning Emergency Services within seconds.
The security guard manning the entrance helped the man out of the road and used his jacket as a cushion so as to keep his head elevated. He then came running towards me begging me to help him to help the man as he didn’t have a phone and no way of contacting an ambulance. The relieved look on his face when I told him the ambulance was already en route and that I wouldn’t leave him on his own, is one I’ll never forget. I managed to park my car and get my “Car first Aid” kit out of the trunk and together the security guard and I managed to at least apply some gauze and a bandage to the man’s head. Well, the security guard did the work (wearing the rubber gloves from my first aid kit) and I stood next to him explaining what he needed to do. It was at this time that I was forced to look at the wound on this guy’s head. It was horrible. Just thinking about it makes me sick to my stomach.
Because his wound appeared to be rather severe I was trying to keep him talking. With a head wound like that the last thing we needed was for him to go to sleep or pass out. The story came tumbling out slowly. His name is Andrew. He was walking home with his friends when his friends started arguing and fighting amongst one another. He tried to stop the fight and then one of his “friends” stabbed him in the head, robbed him of all his stuff and ran off. They took everything. He couldn’t remember his surname, nor was he able to give me a contact number for a next of kin. He was losing blood at an alarming rate, drifting in and out of consciousness and starting to slur, and still no ambulance.
Many people passed us. Most just stared and drove off. Nobody offered to help, nobody wanted to be involved. Most people probably thought he was a thug anyway. My heart was breaking. After waiting for an ambulance for nearly 40mins a young gentleman (and I call him a gentleman because he truly deserves that label) was leaving the complex. He stopped next to us and offered to take the victim to a hospital. He said that he could understand that as a young lady it would be dangerous for me to take the guy to a hospital, but he’s been watching us and we’ve been waiting for an ambulance for a long time and the victim was fading fast. He just felt he had to do something. He was still willing, even after I explained the risks to him in case the victim should die on us. I have a great respect for this man…there are still some good people in the world.
We helped the victim into the car and they sped off. The amount of blood that had soaked the jacket we were using as a cushion and the ground around where Andrew was lying was alarming. I canceled the ambulance, completely forgot to get the keys and headed home. Waiting to hear what happened to him. The gentleman phoned me about 2 hours later. He had rushed to the nearest hospital, which was a private hospital, because the guy was fading fast. I was impressed to hear that the private hospital accepted him, even though he didn’t have a medical aid. He lapsed into a coma shortly after he arrived and his wounds were labeled “severe”. He was taken to ICU shortly after he arrived and the hospital assured the gentleman that they would try to stabilize him, but as soon as it was possible they would have to move him to a government facility as he didn’t have a medical aid. The fact that they were willing to treat him though, and that they are willing to continue treating him until they can move him impressed me. They also promised to give us some more feedback on the victim today. The stab wound did however reach far within the brain, and even if he did survive he would suffer long-term brain damage:(
Due to the robbery he had no ID and the only information we were able to get from him was his name. The hospital notified the police who came to get his fingerprints in an attempt to ID him. My heart ached knowing that there might be a mom/wife/child/sister/brother/father/girlfriend at home who couldn’t understand why their loved one wasn’t coming home and we had no way of notifying them.
I didn’t sleep very well last night. Every time I closed my eyes all I saw was blood and the wound *cringe*. I’m feeling rather jaded this morning and it’s probably a combination of sadness and lack of sleep. What really got to me was the attitude of people in general. People didn’t want to be involved. People were scared to help. And while I’m shocked and appalled by this, at the same time I can, to an extent, understand it. Has our country become so bad that people refuse to become involved because it is too dangerous? And because our country has changed so much that you can no longer just help other people because the danger of you being dragged into something and being accused and tried for various things. How very sad. I remember a time when people would assist people involved in a car crash because the main focus was on saving a life. These days people don’t because they are afraid of being sued for damaged or being held responsible should a victim die, even though it was not their fault. It’s shocking!
I realised another thing…diseases like AIDS have changed us as human beings and our levels of compassion forever. Even after I had retrieved the rubber gloves from my first aid kit I was not really willing to physically assist the victim, and I was only too grateful when someone as selfless as the security guard grabbed the gloves and was more than willing to assist as long as I was willing to instruct him on what to do. What would I have done if he had not been there? Would I have conquered my fear of this dreaded disease and realise that I was doing what I could, or would I have stood by and just waited for the ambulance to arrive? Or would I have found a different way of helping him without putting myself in danger? The truth is…I don’t know. Does this make me an awful person? I don’t really know the answer to that either:/ Could I have done more yesterday? In this case I don’t think so. I wasn’t alone and we did what we could and we phoned an ambulance and we kept him warm and we kept him awake, which was a hell of a lot more than a whole bunch of other people were doing.
Andrew and his family are in my prayers. I’ll keep you guys updated as and when we hear from the police.