Mar 21, 2012

49 ALMOST WALKED AWAY BUT MINDFULNESS STOPPED ME

3.7.12 –I ALMOST WALKED AWAY

SAM_3152This is the sight that greeted me as I made my way to work. I had almost reached work when I noticed this gentleman in this position. He appeared to be in his early to mid twenties. At first I thought he was just stretching out his body, fascinated I took out my camera for a quick shot before he straightened up. He looked like he had no head. With my camera in hand I continued slowly on to work. As i walked on I turned back to see if he had straightened up but he didn’t seemed to be moving. A little concerned I stood still for a moment just to assure myself that everything was ok. Still no movement. I noticed people coming and going not giving him a second thought and I think. ‘Can you just walk away? Can you just judge what you see and determine that its alcoholism or drugs? What if its not? There are many illnesses that mimic the appearance of alcohol/drugs, what if something is really wrong with him, Can you live with the fact that you did nothing?” 

Paying closer attention looking for signs of movement I noticed there didn't appear to be any. It was one of the closest day for the winter season and i was cold standing there in that short time and he was in this position when i came. As I examined closer I noticed that his feet were not touching the ground, no part of his body seem to move and there was no significant rise and fall of his chest to indicate normal breathing. I moved closer and said, ‘HELLO! HELLO? ARE YOU OK?’ Nothing.

I moved in closer and again shouting even louder, (his head was just hanging there) “HELLO! HELLO! CAN YOU HEAR ME, PLEASE RESPOND!’SAM_3153 I got an incoherent gurgle and grunts, “aah, aaw, aah,’ as he attempted unsuccessfully to raise his head. Concerned I got even closer to his lift side without touching him paying close attention at his chest for breathing as I continued to talk to him. I saw a woman from my peripheral vision coming toward me on her cellphone. I called to her and asked, “Can you please call 911, I have been here and he is not responding very well. He has answered me but barely and he is not able to lift himself. She tried to come and move him and I told her, “no do not touch him, we don’t know how long he has been in that position and we do not want to do any damage. As she dialled 911. I continued to speak with him hoping at least the sound of my voice will keep him a little lucid. He gave me barely audible sounds. They were enough to assure me that he was alive. I could here the woman giving our location to the police, describing his article of clothing and explaining that he was semi-conscious but barely responding.

After about 10 minutes the Firefighters arrived. The recognized the young man and called him by name. While they attempted to make him more alert I  took that opportunity to phone my job to let them know I was in an emergency situation downstairs and would be up soon. One of the fire fighters turned to me and asked, “were you the one to stay with him and call 911?” i explained that I came across him lying there and didn’t want to walk away so I elicit the woman’s help (pointing to the woman that called 911) and asked her to call 911. He turned back to the young man and both he and his partner lifted the hanging part of his body and positioned him so he was lying fully on the side block. The called his name but he was answering barely as if under water. I asked the firefighters, “do you know him, is he going to be ok? What is wrong with him?” They explained that he does suffer from substance abuse. He is an alcoholic and sometimes consume Listerine, rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer if alcohol from the liquor store is too expensive. They are familiar with him. I asked, “you are not just going to leave him here are you?” One of the firefighters answered, “no, we are waiting for the ambulance to come and they will check his system to ensure he is alright and pump his stomach if necessary. He explained that they have to get him checked in the event he consumed hand sanitizer because due to its jelly liquid form it can sometimes clog up the passage way.

LESSON LEARNT 

Never judge a situation and just walk away, many people have died due to rash judgments that prevented them from assisting someone even by calling 911 and eliciting people passing by to help until qualified help arrives. I did think that alcoholism might be the issue but I did want to make up my mind and walk away. I preferred to have help come, I lose a bit of time and the person is alright. I know its a scary world we live in and people are afraid to help and with good reason, at the same time, think if it were you, your child, mother, sister, brother, lover lying there and really needed help and no one stopped or even called 911.

49 comments:

  1. You are simply awesome. I know most people (even myself on the right or wrong day) would just have written this off or even been so consumed in their own world that they didn't even notice it....

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    1. That is what was concerning. As I stood there, I observed people just moving pass, some glimsp and kept it moving, others came by asking, "is he dead." What stopped me was thinking about my family, friends, loved ones or even myself, you just never know, a person could just faint away and nobody would stop to help because they assume they are on drugs or something and while there are times that may be true, it isn't true for everyone.

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  2. You did so well ma'am {thank u hug}}

    yes! it is wrong to judge others, but unfortunately, we humans do that a lot! #sighs#

    Thank GOD he is going to be ok.

    p.s the 'i-don't-care and 'mind-your-business' attitude is eating deep into our society, i must confess.

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    1. You know I try to put myself in that situation, or imagine my loved ones and I have to say it hurt deeply to think of myself or them just left there. That was my motivator.

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  3. Oh my gosh! Good for you for getting help for the young man. What a sad situation that nobody else stopped to help.

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    1. I think so many bad things has happened that people are sometimes afraid to help. I too was going to walk away but my conscience allow me to follow through on that initial decision. The thought that kept nagging me was, "can you live with the knowledge if something is really wrong (heard it on the news)and you did nothing,"

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  4. That was a brave & heroic deed. You were not amongst the millions who would simply walk away unconcerned. This goes to show that there is still love & humanity left on this earth which fast becoming more more selfish & materialistic. Bravo !

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    1. I didn't feel brave or heroic, I just couldn't walk away knowing that the possibility existed that something could truly be wrong and to hear it about it on the news that night or see it in the newspaper the next day and know i was there and did nothing. I would have been tortured.

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  5. Hmmmm. Thank God you chose to stay and were useful. I hope the guy gets to sort himself out

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    1. That was my prayer for him as I made my way to work. The firefighter thanked me for staying and also getting help.

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  6. Wow. You really have a good heart. I'm glad you helped him though. God bless and I mean REALLY bless u.

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    1. Thank you, I just hope that if anyone I love or myself were in trouble that someone would stop and help and don't assume and walk away. In life one never knows what trials may come ones way, we only hope that when we are challenged that help is around the corner.

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  7. That was a close call. I know i been guilty of this too but it's scary to think i might be in that same situation and people would just move on by. You're an inspiration xoxo

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    1. I was almost guilty of doing just that (walking away) and many people did pass by not giving him a second glance.

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  8. wow...God bless you. you saved a life

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    1. hmmmmm, thanks, I don't know that I did that but I am thankful that did something.

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  9. So glad you were able to stop by and really watch him enough to help. I hope he realizes how close to danger he was...

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    1. He wasn't even awake or lucid when I left him with the firefighters, but thats ok, all that mattered is that he would get the attention he needed.

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  10. I am so proud of you!! Most people would simply have walked past and not lifted a finger to help. Kudos to you and the lady you enlisted to call 911.

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    1. hmmmm, thanks....its so easy to walk away you know but when i thought about my mother getting hurt on the street because she busted open her head on the traffic light and people rush to her aid, I was thankful for the kindness of strangers, without their intervention I may not still have my mother.

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  11. That was a great gesture Rhapsody. last year I lost my cousin in a bike accident and for 1/2 an hour he was on the road with a weak pulse but no one helped him.Poor fellow lost his life.

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    1. How horrifying for him, can you imagine how he must have felt. That is the very thought that stopped me from walking away.

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  12. OMG... BLESS YOU!!! BLESS YOU!
    I don’t know what I would have done; I would have made an assumption that he was okay and walked away. You just thought me to look at people from a different angle and offer help. BLESS YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. Oh...we all can learn from each other you know. I just would not have been able to live with myself if i did absolutely nothing.

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  13. Wow, those pictures really showed how helpless the man was. It was so brave of you to do what you did. My heart goes out to this young man. I hope that he finds himself and help before it is too late...my heart really goes out to him. May God have mercy.

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    1. Sometimes picture can tell a story better than words. I don't feel like I was brave. I was thinking what if that was me, what if i couldn't ask for help because i was trapped inside my head and no one would stop or call for help. It was a frightening, sorrowful and desolate thought. I had to do something.

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  14. Wow! This is inspiring! We should always be aware of our surroundings and never over-look anything just at first stare or glace. Well, thank God he's okay. I do hope he gets enough care and thorough help if needed. Thanks for being a wonderful observer and life-saver. If you hadn't checked to make sure he was okay...only God knows what might have happened to him. Thanks to the woman for dialing 911, someone people would have just ignored you and 'walked away'

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    1. Thank you, a week later and I still find myself wondering about him, hoping he is ok and somehow he finds his way out of darkness.

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  15. Wow! We all need to have an angel in our lives that won't just walk away. Bless you!

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  16. I'm really touched by this, and encouraged too. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. thank you. It was a great lesson for me that day.To remain humble always.

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    1. Life is fragile, we never know when we would be in a position of needing assistance. I guess my saying applies here, "do onto others as you would have them do onto you."

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  18. God bless your heart sis! Thanks for not walking away...

    I'm sitting down here and I'm asking myself what I would have done...* thought for the day*

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    1. It does have that affect on you doesn't it. That is what I was feeling when I was there, its what made me stay and do something.

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    2. You did the right thing!! Most people do not like to get involved when it is a perfect stranger that they see. But a stranger has family and God forbid one day it could be you or me falling ill! I am really proud of you!

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    3. Thank you and you are so right, this was my reasoning as well

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  19. Sanitizer? Really? Makes me want to cry! People say addictions are not diseases but when you hear stories like this first hand you just know they are.

    God bless you for reaching out AND sharing because believe it or not you've planted seeds in alot of hearts :)

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    1. Honey the kind of maddness that accompanies addiction is out of this world for those of us who stand outside of it. Thanks

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  20. I am moved. In larger cities people are "unconcerned". My salutations to you for the kind heart you have.

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    1. That is the fear for all of us I think. You are right, there is that air of being "unconcerned" and though you understand it, it is something we have to work on daily from invading our minds and bodies completely. FEAR is the motivator of the "unconcerned" behaviour.

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  21. You're a God-send in more ways than one.

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    1. thank you, i believe that is true of all of us

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  22. Wow! it's realy so easy to walk away and not be bothered. Thank you for not doing that and for sharing too.

    now following :)!
    http://madamchiso.blogspot.com/

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  23. woow i wonder hat get people to that stage that they will consume things that can kill them

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  24. Your 'John Doe' is what we refer to as 'frequent flyer' meaning an individual who uses the EMS system often (Someone who is transported to and from hospital on a routine basis, someone who spends more time at the local hospital then most employees and is known by all staff members.). This can be someone who often abuses the system by calling #911, who really doesn't need immediate assistance. But more often it is someone with a persistent medical condition (usually brought on by substance abuse) who frequently really needs assistance. It isn't a derogatory term as much as just a description of someone we see often.
    None the less.. regardless of their age, sex, background, choice of life style... appropriate medical care is given to ALL people. No one is treated any differently. Our jobs are not to pass judgement but rather to provide medical aide and support. Very hard to do at times, but possible.

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  25. It's not easy to step out of your comfort zone and come to the aid of a stranger because these days, you just never know what you'll come up against. But you are right... that's someones brother, son, grandson, boyfriend, husband, father, uncle... and had that 'John Doe' been a relative of yours, most would be grateful. In the end, some people will think that if they don't help strangers it won't affect them in any way but in times when they need help and there's no one to help them, they realize their mistake. Sure that doesn't make sense because how could helping one single stranger affect how many of them helping you right? Which leads me to say that I also believe in the ripple affect. The more people you help, the more people they will help and so on and so on. It's like monkey see monkey do but multiplied. I hope...... I could be wrong but I still choose to believe in Karma and that there's still plenty of good in people.

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