Have you ever saved a life?
I had a friend who saved his son from LSD.
I know the question is about whether I have, but I found this story to be incredible.
My friend had a son who was studying Chemical Engineering in Michigan State University.
He was a pretty good student, not excellent, but above average.
After about a year, he started getting into weed.
He liked weed.
While he was still keeping his average grades, he became lazier.
After smoking weed for a while, he was introduced to LSD.
This is when shit started to hit the fan.
He took LSD a lot.
He really liked it, and took it so much that he started to forget what was reality.
Fast forward a couple months, and he’s failing his classes.
My friend was then called over by the dean.
Apparently my friend’s son started yelling at the dean for some small reason,
My friend took him out of school, and took him back home.
His son was about 3/4 done with his second year there, and stayed with my friend for the whole summer,
He told his son that he’s going to have to get his act together.
By the end of the summer, my friend’s son went back to school.
He aced all of his classes.
My boyfriend saved me.
Few days back I was thinking of giving up my life reportedly.
The reason being I was over stressed and situation was going out of control.
I had a weird dream which didn't let me sleep.
I faced continuous 3 weeks of sleepless nights.
Because that dream was so scary.
Even after taking sleeping pills I couldn't sleep.
When my parents wanted to get me married, problem started.
I didn't wanted to get married.
Reason being the bad dream I used to see each night was real and that incident happened to me long back.
When I was only 6 or 7 year old.
My boyfriend knew everything and when he saved me he was only friend to me.
I had started to like a guy.
This feeling was very new to me because I never liked a guy through out my life.
I don't know how special he was from others.
I told him that I love him.
But he said he don't .
When he saw me suffering so much.
He started to feel love towards me.
I didn't want to get married to anybody except him.
Whom will I say it.
Who would really understand what I was going through except him.
I'll explain how it felt like when I had that dream.
Someone pulled my legs and I was screaming for help.
I felt hell lot of pain.
I wanted to run but I couldn't.
Even if I run, I was caught.
It was not my mistake but still i suffered it.
Yes, I am a rape victim .
I don't know who was that man who did to me like that.
Why did he do it? Why me? Why is it hurting me now?
I literally used to scream for help each night.
When I woke up once and tried to sleep again, I saw the same dream again.
My friend became my boy friend at that time and consoled me.
He was there for me every second.
He gave me the feeling of someone being there for me.
He held my hand and promised to be there for ever.
He saved me from all these.
I fall in love with him each day.
Now I'm normal and all because of him.
I love you chinnu.
So I was three days into dating someone and he was a recovering opiate addict.
Me? I was an active one.
But I was on the mild side.
Had I been prescribed these pills by a doctor, I would've just been consuming the directed dosage.
He consumed pills at a higher milligram AND he didn't consume it orally; he smoked it.
Or at least, he used to.
Until I came into his life and gave his addiction a reason to come back.
One night, he asked me to drive him a half hour away to a friend's house to pick up some pills.
I drove him.
He and his friends decided to smoke right then and there.
I stayed sober, scrolling through my phone, content with being "Designated Debbie.
" I pop my pills.
Smoking them was foreign to me.
A few moments pass, and I figured boyfriend was just nodding out, until his friend, who sat behind him on the passenger side, decided to shake his shoulder a bit.
I don't know why.
but I had this instinct to just reach over and make sure he was still breathing.
While still on my phone, I reached over and laid my hand on his chest.
Counted ten seconds.
I was up to 13 Mississippi-ly when I turned on the overhead lamp.
His head kind of fell sideways and I knew something was wrong.
"Fuck," I mumbled, quickly reaching over him to recline his seat back as much as I could.
"Move, he isn't breathing," I said to his friend.
His friend jumped out of the car and opened the passenger door, and it seemed he was going to attempt to pull him out; but instead he shook my boyfriend.
Still no response.
His lips were turning blue at this point and his face was white as flour.
I tried to open his mouth and found his jaw was locked.
His friend kept trying to slap him awake while I looked around frantically for anything…
I found a pocket knife he regularly carried.
I flipped it open and stuck the handle part between his teeth to try and unlock his jaw; I figured by now that his tongue was probably blocking his airway.
His jaw wouldn't give and although I was afraid I'd break or damage his teeth, I leaned into one last push.
His lips were purple-bluish now.
To my relief, his mouth fell open.
I stuck my fingers in his mouth and pressed his tongue down, began breathing into his mouth and began chest compressions (I have absolutely zero fucking experience with chest compressions or cpr for that matter.
Some fucking doctor God was with me that night.
I don't even know if I had my hands in the right position on his chest or what.
I've never even seen anyone overdose before.
In between breaths, I spoke to him.
"Wake up babe.
"Come back to me babe.
His friend's brother had joined us at this point with a pitcher of water and an ice tray ; they attempted to douse him with water to see if he'd wake, and threw ice on his groin area.
I did a few more compressions.
"i will be so fucking upset if you don't wake up.
Finally, his eyes fluttered open.
His first words? "What the fuck?"
I sighed, as if I've been holding my breath the whole time, and my body collapsed onto the driver seat.
Boyfriend began to get himself together, getting out of the car while his two friends hugged him, almost in tears, telling him about how he just overdosed.
I crawled out of my car somehow and sat on the concrete, drew my knees to my chest in an attempt to get them to stop shaking, and pulled my hoodie over my head for privacy.
Boyfriend began to look for me after his friends told him how I was so calm and quick to action and how it had not been for me, he never would have began breathing again.
He kneeled next to me, asked me if I was okay, and kissed my forehead, thanking me.
I Look back at this and I'm glad he woke up because I'm sure my next step wouldve been to slice a hole in his throat to attempt a tracheotomy.
I HAVE NO FUCKING MEDICAL EXPERIENCE OR TRAINING! I'm glad it didn't resort to that.
I would've fuckin failed miserably.
Don't ask why I didn't call 911.
We were addicts for God's sake and I was on probation.
I have prevented three people’s possible deaths in the absolute most mundane ways possible.
The first was when I was eight and my family was walking down a sidewalk.
I was running down the street chasing my seven-year-old brother James, we were both shrieking and laughing, having a great time.
Then I saw it.
The sidewalk ended shortly ahead.
There was a crosswalk to get across the street, but at the moment there were a lot of cars whizzing by.
I realized something that made my heart leap up into my throat.
James was completely oblivious to the danger, he wasn’t going to stop.
His head turned back toward me, laughing and goading me, he raced towards the busy road.
Faintly behind me I heard my mother calling to him but he was too wrapped up in the game to hear her.
I stopped dead, put my hand out like a traffic cop, and screamed “HALT!” as loud as I could.
I have never used the word “halt” before or since then in any context and I don’t know where it came from then.
It did the trick, he skidded to a stop immediately and looked back at me questioningly.
Mom came running frantically up to us a few seconds later and we both got a very firm lecture on road safety and had to hold a parent’s hand the next few times we were out.
Did I prevent his death? Maybe, maybe not, but he would have almost definitely run out into a very busy road if I hadn’t stopped him.
The second time was again with one of my brothers.
I was fourteen and he was three.
We had been playing in a creek but everyone else had gotten tired of it.
I was on lifeguard duty because it was a big creek with some deep and fast patches.
I sat on one of the big rocks next to it and idly watched him splash around.
There was a current winding its way through the rocks and it was very strong, when it had been flooding it was enough to pull a grown man off his feet and suck him down.
It was also deep enough, even without the flooding, to cover my little brother’s head.
He was playing around in the shallow rapids though so I wasn’t too concerned.
He gradually got nearer and nearer to the rocks and I was about to tell him to move back when his foot slipped out from under him and he was pulled into the current.
He went underwater and couldn’t get back up.
He was pulled quickly downstream and was swallowing a lot of water.
I waded in, dragged him out, and whacked him on the back until he coughed up the water and started breathing.
He was pretty shaken up but more or less okay.
I’m pretty sure he would have drowned if I hadn’t of been there.
The third time was with someone else’s kids.
They moved away recently and I still wonder about them sometimes.
Their parents were very negligent, to the point where the kids basically roamed around the neighborhood in a pack.
They were allowed to ride their bikes on our (very busy) street as long as their dad put traffic cones up.
We have a drain pipe to let the water drain under our driveway.
The ditch in front of our house is very deep and poorly designed so it has a tendency to get backed up and flood when it rains.
The drain pipe is about four feet in diameter and about ten feet long.
At the time it had been raining heavily so water was pouring through it, filling it completely except for a few inches of space between the drain pipe and the water.
So these kids were out by our ditch playing around in the water.
Me and my dad stood by the window and watched them for a bit to make sure they weren’t doing anything else.
My dad went away after a few minutes but I stayed because I noticed they were gesturing repeatedly at the drain pipe.
I watched them as they seemed to be nerving themselves up for something.
Eventually I realized.
“Oh my God.
They’re actually going to try to go through it.
” One of them squatted down preparatory to entering the pipe.
I shot out of the house in socks, practically vaulted the gate to our driveway and yelled “HEY! Don’t do that! You’ll die!” They looked up in startled bewilderment, one of them standing in the water next to the drain pipe, hunched over and ready to enter.
I was both angry and relieved I’d gotten out there in time so they probably got both the strictest and possibly only safety lecture in their lives.
“Get out of there now!” I said angrily.
The kid in the water quickly jumped out and the rest stood in a guilty group.
“Do you know what would have happened if you’d gone into that drain pipe? YOU WOULD HAVE DIED.
Do you understand me? I am not joking.
You do not need to do that under any circumstances EVER.
You see that water?” Pointing to the water rushing through the drain pipe.
“It would have pinned you in there and you would have DROWNED.
You got it? I am not talking about a minor injury or something you can recover from, I am talking DEATH.
” They all muttered guilty things.
My dad had seen me running out there, and he joined me and basically told them the same thing.
Hopefully we were effective.
I wouldn’t normally talk to kids as young as they were like that, but under the circumstances it seemed warranted.
On the escalator at Rajiv Chowk metro station, I saw a lady who was being held by the hand of her husband.
I figured out something was wrong when she was constantly falling backwards.
I asked the husband if everything was fine with her.
To which the husband replied that she was fainting.
I took them immediately to the metro control room where there was just one man who had no clue of what her medical situation was like.
To my surprise there wasn't even a packet of glucose kept there.
The situation intensified when the lady wasn't breathing properly.
The panic outgrew as there was no immediate help around.
And for the worst, the lady wasn't breathing now.
I had no clue but to start giving her the basic CPR ( ) immediately, that I had learnt from my medical friends around.
Fortunately, the lady started breathing rhythmically again.
But far from being normal she was taken to Lady Hardinge hospital near by.
Through my post I just want to pose a few questions:
A station as busy as Rajiv Chowk doesn't have basic medical facilities in place.
Why is it so?
Although we hear announcements, but why doesn't the authorities promote the facilities of Healthcare at the station actively?
Why don't we emphasize on learning these emergency paramedics that can be helpful in Saving lives?
I find myself fortunate as I was there and can't imagine if I wasn't.
Just happy that she's fine now.
This happened with me
7:55 am at clock of metro station, i was just waiting for next metro after leaving two overfilled rush metro.
Office timing and Delhi metro will suck you, heavy traffic.
A boy sitting next to me was looking highly depressed and emotional touched.
He was talking with someone on phone, as he found that i am gazing at him, he felt uncomfortable.
So i just turned my face and faked with lips movement.
Just i want him to feel that i am not listening him at all and busy in listening song.
After few seconds he called someone and said –
Translated- “ Mother i am going, you all hurted me ever.
I was planning from long time to do this.
But fortunately today made myself so strong for this.
I do not wanna live more.
I am at metro station, and next metro will take me away from you all”
After saying this , suddenly he dropped call and busy removing his sim from phone.
I understand all what he going to do next .
So i slowly removed my headphones and asked him to share little water to me, as i found the water bottle in his side bag.
First he ignored me, but then he offered me bottle.
While opening cap of water bottle i started a conversation with him-
Me- So bro where are you going, you looks localite here? I am new to this place, can you help me out to reach this blue line?? ( I lied )
He – Okay , just you need to change metro from xyz stop, their you go for blue line.
Me – Okay thanks.
( I was thinking to capture his attention , and all of sudden a fake spam call from Vodafone Customer care on my mobile.
I started a one sided short conversation on phone)
(Me – Yes tell me.
Okay , ya i know she lied to me.
All about from Bangalore i am here to greet her.
But she ditched me.
Yaa bro, you was right she was with him.
Dropped phone call.
And giving some worried face expression.
He- What happen? Everything fine Bhaiya (Big bro) ?
Me – Nothing bro, someone ditched me hard.
He- Oh sorry.
So what you going to do next?
Me- Nothing Bro , it's all happen, This is the life only.
I am just hungry so next i am just going to have heavy breakfast and Tea.
Then will take a flight back to my work.
He- (Looked surprised) , Bhaiya (Big bro) how come you so adjustable.
Me -(Smiling, as finally i captured his attention) .
Bro long story it is.
So i already missed many metro sitting with you, but i have a believe that next metro will come so why to worry.
Now just tell me what happen to you.
Why are you planning to jump on track and welcome coming metro to go through you.
He- ( Looking me with highly strange open eyes) , but this time looks lil bit comfortable than before.
“ I failed again to clear my exam, i already seen myself failed in last 5 attempts also.
My family even my parents blaming me for everything.
My father shouted me as i wasted his money in classes , and said that i should die.
I fed with all this, so here i am to die.
But from last 3 hours i am sitting here, many metro crossed but my legs burning on fire to do this”
Me – ( i made my self too cool on listening him that i can change his mind ) I smiled in return , and said-
You know bro, next metro is coming soon, when you run from here and take a jump on track , you will die but these people including me will not jump with you to save you, nor they wait.
They will just go to work by taking next metro , or some will take the same metro without giving you good-bye.
No body cares Bro! Fuck.
You just failed for 5 times , and giving up your life.
You know me, the guy who is sitting with you failed everywhere.
I failed in Relationships , failed in getting my Dream job.
My all ex Girlfriends ditched me , lied me and used me.
But you know i never tried doing this , what you are going to do in next minutes.
Go out , take a best cup of Tea, drink something and flush off all emotional shit.
If you have a guts to jump from here , many do not have, so just try your guts in jumping from your situation.
(Sometimes the things hurted us is helpful in motivating others)
He – Bro , its not easy for me like you.
Me – Nor it was easy for me also.
If that day , someone did not stopped me, i am not sitting with you here to stop you.
He – Shocked, Bhaiya you also.
Me – (Laughing) , I do not wanna miss my next metro.
Are you going to jump.
If you are then i should say you good bye.
(Between this time i lied many things but concluded with truth about my success)
He – No Bhaiya ! I am going to have Tea now.
Metro arrived , I shake hand with him and entered in Metro.
I was looking at him till metro left , and he was going out from station platform.
I don’t know what he done next.
Hope my lies worked to change his mind.
Hope my words, my failure , saved his Life.
This incident took place two years back (when i was in third year of BDS ).
As third year of BDS is honeymoon period of dental education , most of the time was spent at canteens, bakeries,parkings , biking.
That day me and my friend srujana went for outing to buy some dental materials ,which are required for our next lab.
we usually use highway for travelling ,but as the climate was romantic (due to cool breezes) we choosed Beach road.
After travelling few distance we noticed an accident.
Usually when a road accidents occurs ,bystanders will usually try to help injured or at least call for help .
One girl (victim of accident) desperately crying for help,but motorists swerve past her.
She and her friend are lying next to mangled scooty on which they had all been traveling seconds earlier .
Few people stopped but nobody came forward to help.
The foremost reason was
Oftentimes if you assist someone the police will assume you are helping that person out of guilt
We went there and as we have some basic knowledge of first aid we stopped them from bleeding .
One girl was unconscious by then.
As their is shortage of ambulance ,and other girl was loosing much blood we need her to be hospitalized ,we made call to our senior (most popular person in our college ,he came within minutes along with his friends and stopped autorickshaw coming behind , though autowala rejected he slapped him and took both girls in Auto and admitted her in nearby government hospital .
They finally started treatment after completing the paperwork.
The hospital management took good care of them,in no time they recovered .
Her parents appreciated us ,and even our college management appreciated us.
We are best friends now,one girl recently got married .
Don't hesitate to help victims of road accidents.
Thank you .
Sources of images : google
Tough picture … best I could find … Birmingham bullet was in the front and out the back, but poetic license …
Birmingham, Alabama … very bad neighborhood.
I was interviewing for a field job which incidently put me in a coma for a month years later.
Bad judgement on my part.
I was working for another company, lived in a good part of Birmingham and ran operations in Alabama, Mississippi, Southeast Tennessee and Deleware.
Why Deleware? It was a cheap flight on South West Airlines.
Pop! POP! POP! POP! POP!
The guy I am talking to didn't say a word, and his jaw dropped.
“You know what that was, right?”
The guys mouth keeps moving and no sound came out.
“Gunfire! Call the cops.
Zero percent chance the fire department or paramedics will come to this neighborgood before the cops secure it.
I'm going out to take a look.
Blazer hung up.
Shirt and tie on.
Parking lot and fuel pumps out front.
Car with its windows shot out.
“Jurry” badge in the window.
Ahhh … I understand.
Jury lunch break … ala El Chapo.
Local guy staggers towards me.
Shot through the head.
He turns and sits on the curb.
His math might suck, but he'll live.
Why did I know that? Ahhh … Central America and a shitty work life!
“Hey buddy, what's your name?”
“Yeah, I feel the same way.
He is hunched over on the curb and a splash of blood hit the parking lot.
“Dude, look at me.
” He did.
“Why don't you put your head in your hand and arm on your knee.
I think you'll feel better.
” Of course I was trying to get him to cover the gun shot wound in.
My interviewer pops his head out of the door.
“Did you call the fxxxing cops like I asked you? Bring me a clean shop towel.
I looked at the gun shot victim.
Towel comes out.
“Hey buddy … look at me.
” He does.
I put the towel in his hand for him to lean on.
The next thing you know, he goes into shock and his legs start shaking.
I get down on my knees behind him and yank him into my lap.
“Buddy, let me pull your feet back and get your knees up.
You'll feel better.
Big black cop in a flack vest shows up.
Combat Marine vet.
Why did I know him? Three of my guys got jumped and locked in a freezer three weeks before.
They called me on a cell phone.
I called the cops and drove down to my operation.
Three of Ray's partners got shot to death with SKS carbines chasing the bad guys that day.
Ray was upset … of course!
I look up and smirked at Ray.
He smiled at me.
“Ray, guy’s in shock.
Can you help me out?”
“Sure thing, Fred.
Fire engine shows up.
Paramedics show up.
Ambulance shows up.
I stand up and look at my hands.
FXXK!!! Aids? Blood poisoning?
“Hey Ray, don't tell anyone we know that I was here.
I'm interviewing for another job.
If you need a statement, I'll be inside.
“I have your cell number, Fred.
Walked in blood all over me.
Guys on the phone with the CEO.
Got the job.
One step closer to divorce but paid for my girls’ college and grad school.
Hello New Orleans and Katrina!
Several years ago, I went out to dinner one evening with my wife and my son at Applebee’s.
We were enjoying our food and were conversing when I noticed there was some commotion in the booth next to us.
The people were staring with shocked expressions at the guy who was seated at the end of the booth.
He was displaying classical choking signs; his hands were clasped around his throat and he was gasping like a fish and turning red.
I looked over at my wife and said, “honey, I think that guy is choking to death.
” Without even thinking about it, I got out of my seat and rushed over to him.
Having learned the Heimlich maneuver during first aid training in the military, I sprang into action.
There was only one problem: he was a HUGE fellow.
I’d have to guess that he weighed at least 300 pounds.
By the time I got to him he had fallen out of his seat and was kneeling on the floor still grasping his neck and gasping for air.
I reached around him with both arms, and I was just barely able to clasp my hands together under his sternum.
With all of my might I compressed him as hard as I could with a powerful squeeze, and “POW,” just like that, a huge piece of meat shot out of his mouth and went flying across Applebee’s.
The entire restaurant had gone dead silent and everyone was staring at us with shocked expressions on their faces.
Several long seconds passed and then spontaneously everyone burst into applause.
I asked the guy if he was alright, and he said “yeah, I think I’m okay.
Oh, and thank you.
” I helped him get back into his seat and I rejoined my family.
Everything in the restaurant went back to normal and my wife said, “Darin, you just saved that guys life!” I was still in shock about the event when the manager came up to our table and thanked me for what I’d done.
He said he’d witnessed the whole thing and that our dinner was on the restaurant.
I said, “wow, that’s awfully nice of you.
Several minutes later, the guys wife came over to the table and profusely thanked me.
I said that I was glad to be able to help her husband out.
The rest of our dinner was surreal, and we left and went home soon thereafter.
So, I can actually say that I saved a huge guy’s life one evening while eating dinner with my family at Applebee’s.
He called from the commuter rail platform on Boston’s Lowell line.
“I’m going to jump,” was the first thing he said.
His voice trembled as we spoke.
His hands shook too: for a few interminable seconds after he dropped his phone, I nearly lost my mind calling his name.
Her voice slurred when she talked.
She’d already swallowed a fistful of pills, washed down the bitter taste with whiskey.
“They’ll be better off without me,” she said of a family who still loved her.
A teenager, just last month.
The texts came in fast at first, then slowed down.
A prior attempt.
The good news is that each of those conversations ended with a safe rescue.
But, after hundreds of hours & with people in crisis, I have had to accept that most of the time we don’t know — we’ll never know — what happens after they hang up the phone.
So have I ever saved a life? Maybe I have.
Maybe I’ve helped.
But I’m not certain.
I like to think, instead, that I’ve been witness to both people’s darkest hours and those bright fierce moments of courage where they save their own lives.
And that, truly, is a privilege bordering on sacred.
It was Christmas eve 1971 and I was the 6–10PM DJ on a Louisville Kentucky radio station.
When my shift ended I began about a 175 mile drive East alone to my home town to visit my mother.
Most of the trip was on I-64 and the Mountain Parkway but the last 25 miles would require exiting onto a secondary road.
I took that exit at about 1:00 AM Christmas morning.
The exit had a sharp curve and as I came around that curve there was a car blocking the road upside down in the middle of the exit ramp with a couple of men standing nearby another car parked off the ramp on the shoulder.
I knew that it was not unheard for people to block the exits and then rob the next car that comes along.
Since the exit was blocked and I couldn’t turn around I stopped about 30 feet before the scene.
I was not carrying a weapon but I did open my trunk and got my tire iron which I carried close to my leg as I walked to the scene.
Thank God I had that tire iron.
It became quickly apparent the two guys were very drunk and had just come on the scene a few minutes before I did.
They did manage to tell me they could see a guy in the upside down car on the drivers side.
I bent down to look and I could see his head in the window with what looked like a lot of wrapped Christmas presents around him.
AT that moment the gasoline that had been leaking hit the engine which was still hot and started a fire.
That brought me to my senses and I realized I still had the tire iron and began smashing the window and one of the other fellows helped me pull the fellow out just before the whole car started burning.
The driver was cut up from glass but he was also intoxicated but alive.
I got everybody away from the fire and by this time the fire had drawn attention from a house nearby and they called the closest thing to EMS back in 1971-a hearse from the funeral home which took the poor fellow to a hospital.
His car was a total loss.
Thank God I had that tire iron in my hand.
This incident happened before 3 years.
As usual, I was on my way back home after a hectic day from Indiranagar at around 7.
Heavy slow moving traffic from Indiranagar and after 50 mins, I was still near Raj Bhavan road.
When the signal turned green, like all the other vehicles, I was also in a hurry and accelerated my bike to quickly pass through before the signal turned red again.
As I was accelerating, I glanced through and I thought I saw someone lying on the footpath.
I immediately turned back and quicky glanced to see if it really an emergency.
I couldn't see much but there was little blood on his forehead and that got my attention.
I slowed down and took my bike on the footpath, went back to see what had happened.
For a second, I thought he might have been dead.
He looked like he was in his late 60’s, an old man who was lying there with half his face on the footpath and other half in the air and blood running from the middle his forehead in between his eyes up to his chin in a straight line.
No, he was not dead, blood was oozing out, I could notice the faint breathing from a close distance.
Was he drunk? No! Alcohol's stench stays for hours even when consumed in small quantities.
And it takes more than just 30 ml for someone this age to go unconscious on a busy road like Raj Bhavan.
So definitely not the case of alcohol.
Standing there, I didn't know what to do, so I took my water bottle and sprinkled some water on his face.
After 3–4 attempts, his eyes were half open and conscious.
Gave some water to drink and he drank maybe less than 1/4th the glass spilling the rest of the water.
Now that he was a little awake, I tried to get him to sit on the footpath….
He just couldn't sit, every time I tried that, he would lean back again and almost hit his head to the footpath.
While I was struggling to get him to sit there, suddenly someone came over to ask me what had happened… He probably realized that I needed help.
He had parked his bike next to mine on the footpath and when I explained him, he tried talking to him in different languages….
The old man couldn't speak a word.
At one point, I was thinking that maybe life is not all that fair.
An old man, who's unconscious on a busy road and no one to take care of him in his old age.
We checked his pockets to find any names or addresses, but nothing!
My friend suggested that we call the ambulance, so we tried calling them.
It took us about 12 minutes to talk to an operator who told us that it might take 40 minutes for the ambulance to arrive.
We tried again and this time they gave us the contact number of the police station in that locality to assist in this case.
They informed that they would coordinate with an ambulance and try to reach there in 30 minutes.
Finally after almost an hour, it was about 10 PM the ambulance arrived and then we explained the situation.
And now, there was another problem!
For the ambulance to admit this patient, he demanded that I go along to the hospital, stay there for the night.
Accordingly to their protocols, they do not take responsibility of anyone unless they have papers which will confirm their identity as orphans.
I had already lost my mind and in total crisis during the situation.
After this, I had no idea how or what I could do for this man who was still half unconscious…
No one was willing to the responsibility for his medical care.
And he couldn't talk, so there was no way contacting his family members…
During the heated conversation with the ambulance drivers, a police inspector arrived there interfered and suggested the ambulance to take the old guy to an old age orphanage.
I still wasn't sure if the ambulance drivers would take this seriously, so I checked my wallet, had 200 bucks which I slipped it into his hands hoping that he would carefully drop him at the old age home.
After this incident, the other guy who helped me through this suggested that we get some chai.
I needed one too, so I didn't deny although I barely knew him.
When I asked him about his profession, he told me that he worked as a delivery boy for a courier company and was heading home after a 12 hour shift.
That day had a big impact on how I see life and death.
After that incident, I was even scared to grow old.
One day we'll all grow old but hopefully make responsible choices especially for our family!
Yes, onboard a cruise ship.
My cabin mate was choking, he couldn’t breathe at all.
I called the emergency line, told them what was happening.
and was put on hold.
I started the Heimlich Maneuver.
After about a half a dozen thrusts the obstacle moved and he began to breathe.
I picked up the phone and I was still on hold.
At this point I was PISSED.
After nearly 5 minutes a poorly spoken English speaker answered and started mechanically going through a long list of questions.
I was playing along because I wanted to know exactly how long it was going to take to get medical services in an emergency life or death situation on ship (for a later letter to the company) so I didn’t disclose the emergency was over.
I kept saying to the speaker he’s choking he can’t breathe, he’s dying, we need a doctor, and the rather disinterested voice on the other end kept going down routine questions utterly ignoring my desperation .
Then she put me on hold and another “nurse” didn’t pick up the phone for nearly 10 minutes.
When she did she started asking me the exact same questions that the previous so called nurse had been asking.
I interrupted her and practically screamed he’s dying he can’t breathe we need a doctor now and she audibly sighed and said she’d send someone.
The someone she sent was a laundry porter who didn’t speak English and was not affiliated in any way with the onboard medical center.
He showed up 30 minutes later, slowly pushing a wheelchair for us to transport my cabin mate to the hospital services on ship.
Had I not had extensive training in the Heimlich Maneuver both as a former EMT and as my on-site medical contact at work, I believe wholeheartedly that my cabin mate would have died that day.
Not only did the onboard medical team show no interest in saving his life, between being put on hold, being asked routine questions that had nothing to do with the situation, and their not sending emergency personnel to the situation, oh, and sending a laundry porter over half an hour later to pick my cabin mate up and bring him back to the hospital, it took them nearly an hour to respond to a “total occlusion, victim not breathing” call.
Norwegian Cruises, in case you’re curious.
Everything else about the cruise was amazing but they had the most apathetic, poorly trained “medical” staff I have ever had the misfortune to come across.
I do not believe any of them were real doctors or real nurses because I have traveled the world and I have never seen doctors or nurses that conducted themselves in such a poor, uncaring, and unprofessional manner.
TL;DR Read only if you have about 15 minutes to spare to get the FULL emotional FEEEELZ experience, otherwise skip to the last few paragraphs, lol.
actually, this coincidentally happened to me not too long ago.
At the time of me writing this quora response, I saved a person’s life exactly one week ago, Wednesday morning, at 1:30am.
Yes, You could definitely say that I saved someone’s life.
Not only their life, but even if their life wasn’t on the line, then I most definitely, without a shadow of a doubt, saved them from utter financial destruction.
I helped a lady get back home to her state.
I was on my way home on a bus one late night from my routine weekly visit to my local downtown arcade, and halfway home the bus stopped and two officers presented a distraught lady who was clearly lost and was crying a river.
The officers requested the bus driver give her a complimentary bus ticket, so she did.
As I rode the rest of the way home, I couldn’t stop thinking about that distraught lady on the bus.
At first I thought to myself, “I’m sure she’s just having a rough day, she’ll probably figure it out without my help”.
But as seconds, minutes passed on, I couldn’t help but notice that not ONE SINGLE RIDER ON THE BUS batted a single eye to the distraught lady.
It’s as if they were acting like nothing happened.
I am not mad at them nor pleased at them either, they were just minding their own business which is perfectly understandable.
They probably just thought “oh great, another filthy homeless person, probably just wants some money so they can get drunk again tonight”.
Even if they weren’t thinking such a horrible thought, even IF they somehow figured that she was legitimately a successful lady just caught in an extremely bad situation, they were just minding their own business and that’s the bottom line.
But not me.
It really bothered me to see her that way.
The moment she stepped on that bus I couldn’t help but divert all of my attention to her.
Of course I didn’t STARE at her the entire time I was on the bus till I reached the end of the line (which was where I ultimately decided to help her) because I didn’t want to look like some rude weirdo who likes to stare at people.
I just kept my face down to my lap looking at my laptop inconspicuously listening to music while I pondered for a long ass moment as to whether to help her or not.
I concluded that in the very least, she was not homeless.
She was dressed decently (not beautifully of course.
bloody fuck, what do you expect a person would look like, getting lost and being in the rain for a while? of course they’re not gonna look glamorous and pretty in pink), had an unripped backpack and several bags of groceries.
I think the thing that really hit home in my heart that night was the fact that I myself, used to be homeless too, and was miraculously saved by my kind aunt who was nice enough to let me live with her free for one year until I got back on my own feet.
so because of that mutual feeling, it almost made me cry to see her this way, which was what finally set me off.
Of course, before I had made the final decision, I was arguing with my inner self.
“motherfucka, you are not in any position to be helping other ppl when you can barely help yourself.
You have a dead end job, are $500–$700 neck deep in credit card and medical debt, if you give away all your money now, how will you pay off your debt? You also could use that money to upgrade your pc, etc!”
All of this went through my mind, but despite that, I knew deep in my heart it was my duty to help this lady.
Not one single person on the bus so much as turned their head or averted their attention when the distraught lady walked on the bus.
I felt mutually obligated, like it was my higher calling, my destiny, my….
PURPOSE ON THIS GODFORFUCKINGSAKEN EARTH to help her.
Because most likely, I was probably the only one who even had any time or even enough money to help her.
I just so happened to have recently received $1000 in new year’s gift money from relatives a week prior, so that was a major plus.
So I decided to help her.
But not until we reached the end of the line, because I am a really shy nervous type and don’t like don't like doing big scene things in front of dozens or even hundreds of watchful judgemental eyes.
Once we all got off, I first asked her where she needed to go.
I thought that she was probably just lost and needed a taxi ride home.
She then told me that she literally has no idea where she is, and that she was just supposed to get her passport the next morning so she can fly to Mexico to see her husband 2 weeks later.
She told me that she planned to stay the night at a greyhound station, but the station wouldn’t let her stay and kicked her out into the cold winter SNOW.
that’s probably one of the reasons why I decided to help her, because I was afraid she might have freezed to death if she had nowhere to go.
Anyway, at that moment in time once she told me what she needed to do, once I knew for sure that she was lost AND stranded in seattle, that I decided to go on and help her.
I didn’t care how much it would cost me.
As long as I was ABLE to do it and get her to safety, that’s literally all that I cared about.
SO I boldly offered to pay a taxi for both ME AND HER, to go to the nearest hotel for one night a safe WARM place first, then sort the rest out once we were secured.
Initially, I was just going to just drop her off at the hotel and let her figure the rest herself but no, I finally decided to see the whole endeavor through to the very bitter end with her.
So I bought a night at this place called Hotel Sutton for a two-bed room.
(obviously I wasn’t going to sleep in bed with a complete STRANGER.
Not planning to get raped or robbed).
I literally stayed up all night and morning comforting her and keeping her calm, whilst making sure she didn’t miss her 8am passport appointment.
it was 2am in the morning at the time, and I was already tired as fuckity fuck fuck from my strenuous physical activities during the day prior, but I didn’t give one single fuck about my sleep, as long as I could help her.
we had a nice chat, instantly became friends, once we laid out a game plan on how to get her home, we decided that we should try to stay awake by getting a late night dinner at the local denny’s.
I don’t regret one bit going to denny’s spending well over 30 dollars total on the both of us.
Their melt-in-the-mouth tender steak and sunny side up eggs were to DIE FOR (no pun intended!) .
once we get back to the hotel from lunch, I let her rest a few hours while I stayed up (still), and waited for the appointment to arrive.
I even followed her along to the federal passport office, sat in a boring room full of people waiting for their shit, still I was sleepy as fuck, but I kept her company.
Good thing I didn’t work the next day, otherwise I really would have been royally fucked, no way I could do a good or even a decent job at work with literally no sleep in my body for over 24 hours.
turns out she had to wait until 2pm to get her passport, and it was only like 9:30–10am at the time.
so we rode in a taxi again back to the hotel, and I was able to finally get a TINY bit of rest (like a measly two hours, lol) until we had to go back.
I made damn sure I didn’t oversleep.
I put a loud as fuck alarm on my phone and made the ringtone a motherfucking nuclear bomb alarm, LMAO.
That would surely scare me tf awake when I needed to! xDDDDD.
once we rode a taxi again at like 1:30 back to the passport office, she paid and got her passport, we rode one final taxi to the greyhound station, and I waited one final time until it was time for her to depart back to her hometown in Portland Oregon, where she had to work the next day.
So yeah, I potentially….
no… I LITERALLY saved her life from not freezing to death in the cold snowy winter night, as well as pay for everything that she needed to get back to Portland, just minus the passport fee because she already had her check for that.
STILL to this day I don’t regret one bit spending my valuable money, that’s approximately $400 IN TOTAL from taxis food and hotel, to save a person’s life in distraught.
Yes sure, I had plans to spend the money on myself buying some nice things for myself and paying off debt, but all of that can wait until another day no matter how long that another day may be.
Saving a person’s life however, cannot wait, and a chance like this may never come again in my lifetime, probably not to this extreme degree.
There will always be opportunities to donate a few dollars here and there to the homeless, but giving all my savings, sacrificing my sleep time suffering awake and tired as fuck to save the life of a human being and to save them from utter destruction, THAT was my higher calling, my purpose on earth.
The whole way through she thanked me dearly and called me an ANGEL.
what a nice coincidence because my nickname actually IS Angel, and my actual name is Angelina, which reflects my very angelic nature.
Tell me, how many people have you ever met in your lifetime, either personally as a close friend, or just merely passing by a stranger, was kind enough to spend a giant chunk of their own life savings, to save a person’s life more in need? Let’s not count millionaires here or the modestly rich ppl, as they are obviously already financially successful and could easily afford to donate some of their own money to help the needy.
But how many AVERAGE JOES LIKE ME, will you ever meet in your lifetime, ppl who are not rich and just work a basic minum wage job (at the time being) who will do what I did? None, that is the answer.
I am one in a million, I am deeply proud of what I did and I regret nothing.
I don’t regret putting myself into deeper dept, I don’t regret staying up for over 24 hours, and I most definitely DO NOT regret helping a lady in need, spending the entire difficult literally restless night seeing the entire endeavor through with her.
In the end, I made a best friend which I am sure she will want to return the favor later on eventually which I don’t expect, and I can safely for absolutely sure can say that I have done something VERY impactful in this world, that I made a BIG GIGANTIC difference in this world for someone.
And that is the most rewarding feeling in this entire universe.
This incident is meant to be forgotten because now we kind of hate each other.
Monsoon season is considered as a trekking season around Mumbai/Pune in India.
I trek a lot, and this was by far the most mesmerising trek I have had.
I was with a group of friends trekking on a mountain called Chandheri.
It's about 80 kms from Mumbai.
Words are not invented to describe the beauty of that view from the top.
That is when I decided I'll bring the girl I love here and while we are at the cliff, amongst that godly view, I'll propose to her.
She was my friend who clearly knew I am into her, but she had no such feelings.
Yet, we used to hang out often, more than often.
So a week after I trekked this mountain with my friends, I ask her if she would like to trek.
We were at the base of the mountain.
It started to rain.
By the time we reached the first waterfall, I felt that the pressure with which water is flowing is atleast twice as fast as it was last week.
I decided to be more cautious.
It was too much fun trekking through the dense forest through those white waterfalls especially when it was raining already.
Halfway to this trek comes a spot that has waterfalls from three sides and climbing through one of them takes you back on the correct path.
I got confused here.
I couldn't remember out of the three falls, which one was it.
The water level and the pressure with which it was flowing was high, probably the same spot looked much different a week before.
I made the girl stand on a rock in the pool area where the water from those three falls was accumulating.
I went ahead trying to climb each fall one by one to figure out which one is the correct one.
Within seconds I could see the white water turning brown.
The water level increased drastically.
I realized there must be a landslide somewhere above that caused it.
I turned around to check on the girl and found that she is stuck on that piece of rock surrounded by fast flowing water.
Few steps behind was the further drop of that waterfall which was not too deep but since it was a rocky patch it was bad enough to cause instant death if fall on the head.
Usually I would not consider myself brave.
But my love for her was true.
I knew the risks, I walked towards her anyway.
Felt the water pushing my legs, was about to fall, but focused hard to stand and walk.
I reached to her held her hand.
When I turned around to see the waterfalls, they looked like three monsters releasing mud from their mouth and coming for us.
For some reason, I did not doubt for a second that anything would happen to her.
I knew for a fact she will go back home safe and sound.
We held our hands tight, and walked towards the first waterfall, we had to find a high ground.
We managed to drag our feet till there.
Now, again, we were confused if we could climb through this fall.
Going back at this moment was out of question because of the tremendous force of water.
The only way was through it.
I started to grip my fingers on the cuts on the rocks inside waterfall.
And after few slips, managed to climb up and pull her up.
It took us a second to acknowledge that we are now safe.
We stood on top looking at the madness of nature, we were afraid but happy that the monsters did not get us.
A hug I can never forget.
Then we sat there waiting for the water level to go down.
Continuing the trek was not an option.
After half an hour, the water started to get calm and when it was safe enough, we got out of there.
Yeah that planned proposal was destroyed by the waterfalls.
That ring remained with me and never saw the light of the day.
After a year or so of that incident some unfortunate things happened and we have not spoken ever since.
I don't know where she is and what she does, all I know is that if there is some end of the world kind of thing about to happen and I have an option to pick just one person to board a plane that is going to save our lives, after my family, it would be her.
I check for all magazines on women empowerment to find her pic on front page – that's what she had always dreamt of.
I wish that comes true soon.
Yes, I have.
I was at my workplace.
and what I saw a Black Raven(I am a big fan of GOT) grab something and flew.
while other Ravens were still trying to catch something from the bush.
I went there and found something lying unconscious.
Don't know what to do.
I grab it and took it inside.
It was a baby Squirrel.
(she was smaller than this when I found her)
Didn't know what to do with that baby Squirrel.
I was asking everyone but nobody knows.
then one of my old colleague told me to feed her some water.
I took some drops of water and pour it on her mouth.
She was alive.
I tried to give her some cashews but she was too small for that.
I went home early with her and searched on internet and found some techniques.
She is my "Darling" ( I gave her this name.
Watching her holding the dropper and drinking the milk use to give me pleasure of heaven.
She was so cute.
She loves almonds.
After she is done she use to sleep in my arms.
Her playground was my body
Yes even she pissed on my head and on my chest many times.
She was the cutest.
I even carry her to my home.
from Mumbai to Nagpur in train.
Now she is settled in Nagpur in my garden and has a loving husband and many kids.
Yes I have saved a life.
It's not any human's life but it was not less than that.
She is and will always remain my "Darling"
To my Darling.
Interestingly, this was something I had just talked about with a very old friend of mine.
Pharmacists generally don’t save lives directly, but may do so indirectly through prevention of medication errors.
However, not everything in pharmacy is about medications.
Sometimes people come to the pharmacy in emergency situations or when they cannot see their doctor on weekends and refuse to sit at the emergency department for 6 hours waiting to be seen.
(Most people think their problems require emergency departments when usually, 9 times out of 10, they require a walk-in clinic visit.
Anyway, I had saved one persons life for certain, and probably prevented someone else from going into anaphylaxis.
but that’s another story.
This one patient came running to the pharmacy counter with a really raspy voice, waving their hand while saying, ‘Excuse me!’ At first I thought it was just another person who wanted a recommendation for their cold or laryngitis so I didn’t think much of it until they became even more persistent that I come over right away.
It just so happened that this person had a extremely serious latex allergy and there was an event going on outside involving food, balloons, music etc… This person, not thinking about it, was asked by a young child to blow up a balloon and did so without hesitation.
Within 1 minute, her mouth started to swell from the latex balloon and her throat began to tighten whereby her voice became raspy.
Luckily, she thought to run inside to the pharmacy counter as quickly as she could.
The allergy was so severe that within seconds of her trying to explain what happened I noticed she started becoming breathless and her skin was pale.
She turned over her medical alert bracelet that her latex allergy was engraved in and was able to explain that she had just blew up a balloon for a child.
I could tell from her voice, shallow breathing and wincing while holding her throat that she was in danger of going unconscious at any moment.
Without any hesitation I brought her into the pharmacy and got her to sit down behind the counter to give her privacy while I tried to talk to her.
Grabbed two benadryl tabs and got her to chew.
If you chew benadryl tablets they make your mouth numb so I made sure I told her this as it would have created even more panic for her.
She was unable to speak at this point and continued holding her throat while groaning.
Immediately I told the assistant to call 911.
Having her sit down where she would not fall I quickly grabbed an epipen off the shelf and told her to nod her head if she was okay with me doing the injection.
(I was scared she may pass out if i let her do it herself.
) At this point all I heard from her was awful gurgling sounds from her throat and so I injected her with an epipen.
I waited by her side until the paramedics arrived; it only took 5 minutes as they were already close-by.
They gave her a second dose of epinephrine even before leaving the pharmacy and off she went to the hospital to be monitored.
In situations like these everything becomes a blur.
I had to gain my composure as I had another half a shift left before I could go home.
The patient returned to the pharmacy and paid for the epipen (I had not mentioned doing this) but she insisted and spoke directly to the pharmacy owner to express her deepest thanks for my quick assistance.
Just another day at the pharmacy… and you wonder why we look at you with contempt when you ask why it takes half-an-hour to fill your prescription ;)
No, make that better a resounding yes!
I had made a foolhardy decision.
I was travelling in Sonora, Mexico, all by myself and had just come out of a two-day trek through some remote section of desert.
Nothing could stop me now!
I’d taken the cutoff road from Caborca to Puerto Peñasco (Also known as Rocky Point in Arizona).
It was clearly marked on my map as a gravel road.
Easy! All flat terrain, some spectacular sandscape and cacti to boot along the way and it would save me many hours on the road.
I expected to do 2 hours.
Soon, things got a bit hairy.
The good gravel road had morphed in a sandy track that slowed my VW Buggy down to a crawl at times.
And there, out there in the distance, in the sandy wasteland, I saw something.
A cactus right on the track?
An elderly, very slim man in tennis shoes, worn, dusty jeans and an old shirt! Cowboy hat.
Everything on him and his face was covered in dust.
He asked for a ride to Peñasco.
I was not to leave this old man alone in this most forbidding of all deserts.
Despite having been warned about not picking up hitchhikers in Mexico.
But he was in no shape to do me harm.
He asked, if I had something to drink, which I did.
A can of warm soda and half a gallon of equally warm water.
He took the coke, as a good Mexican.
He told me his story.
On the way North.
He was hoping to find work in the U.
as a baker.
The road got worse.
Small sanddrifts would occasionally cover it and the car barely made it through.
The sun started its menacing hike towards the knife-sharp, featureless horizon with no town in sight.
Then the first really deep drift.
We got stuck.
My faithful companion pushed, and I got the car loose.
The wheels spun, kicked up clouds of dust, gripped, the car inched forward.
A bit more clutch (standard!), and it still advanced , with the pushing help from him.
He got himself a healthy serving from the jug once we were back on firm ground.
I let him have all of it.
He needed it more than I, and I have had a good sip for lunch.
We would repeat this nerve wrecking operation several times, until we both were completely covered in yellow dust.
The jug was empty – but we saw the lights of Puerto Peñasco shimmering in the distance!
Completely wasted, we had arrived in Puerto Peñasco.
I left the baker at the bus station, with enough money to get him a room, the bus ticket and something to eat.
I was pleased that he accepted it.
“May God bless you” he told me as a farewell.
I somehow felt that his wish would be granted.
I cannot claim with certainity that I saved his life that day.
But no one else would venture onto a nonexistent road and no one else was out there that day in May in the cruel heart of the Sonoran Desert.
But to this day, I am dead certain that I had saved my own life that day by picking him up.
I would never have made it through there alone.
I dunno, maybe.
I started offering web-research help to friends back in the late 90s, when we were attending our family’s old church in Boston.
My wife and I were amongst the youngest couples in that congregation, and I was one of the church's go-to guys for computer-related stuff.
Somebody'd get sick with something serious, and I'd offer whatever web help they wanted: explanation of the diagnosis, finding second opinions, sussing out alternative therapies, as much or as little as they wanted.
Back then, not everyone knew how to make Google sing to them.
And then as now, most people weren't really comfortable with sifting through intricate medical jargon, looking for the high points.
When our friend L got diagnosed in 2000, she accepted my offer of help, so I asked for the most precise eight-syllable diagnosis she could give me, and I asked how much material she wanted in return: 2 pages, or a quarter- inch of paper, or 3/4 inch, as much or as little as she wanted.
Her hospital had told her she had multiple myeloma, so I asked her for copies of the lab work and their pathology report.
When I looked up her diagnostic details, and looked up multiple myeloma, the diagnosis didn't add up.
For example, MM is characterized by low red- cell & white-cell counts, while L's labs showed greatly elevated whites.
She did have through-the-roof immunoglobulin, which kind of resembles MM, but overall, her symptoms and labs didn't match the MM diagnosis at all well.
I double-checked a lot, because second-guessing a trained MD isn't what I originally offered to L.
But really, it was alarming.
I finally told her, "Look, I'm sorry, I dunno what you have, but I'm pretty sure it's not multiple myeloma.
You really really need a second opinion.
Now, L's kids were 6 & 10 back then, so the idea of a misdiagnosis must have seemed to her about as welcome as her initial cancer diagnosis.
But she didn't say, as she might reasonably have said, "Thank you, Seraphim, but get lost.
" Instead, she said, "I don't know where to start, I don't know how to find a better oncologist.
Can you help me find an oncologist?"
So God help me, I said, "OK, I'll try," though I didn't yet have a plan.
Back then, hospitals didn't yet have websites with doctor bios, and didn't exist, either.
So for me, it was a high-risk moment.
But here's how I did it.
While reading up on L's illness, I somehow stumbled upon a big decision-tree for blood cancers, a 100-page instructional document for oncologists.
Using her symptoms, labs, and pathology report, I worked my way through the diagnostic criteria: "If platelet count is less than x, then go to page N," etc.
When I was done going through the decision-tree, I had two possible diagnoses, both being subtypes of non-Hodgkins lymphoma: Mantle cell lymphoma, or Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia (eleven syllables).
Soon after this, L did get a better diagnosis, confirming my Waldenstrom's guess.
This made sense to me.
You see, in Waldenstrom's the patient's cancerous B-cells produce so much antibody that the blood becomes viscous, making it hard for the heart to force this thickened blood through the capillaries.
Two overt symptoms of this difficulty are headaches, and a very characteristic rash of yellowish spots around the nose and forehead, both of which my dear friend L had at the time.
So this new diagnosis was real progress, and I had some confidence that it might be right this time.
With this better diagnosis, I was able to proceed.
On Google, I looked up "Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia", together with "conference program.
" I wanted to find conferences in which researchers had presented papers about L's disease.
This Google search gave me a half-dozen PDF documents, each describing all of the papers that had been presented at some recent medical conference.
Now, I wasn't particularly interested in the papers themselves, because it takes ten years to translate research results into new drugs.
I just wanted to know who was working on L's disease, and where were they doing the work.
So, I tallied a list of researchers' names, each with a hospital.
I knew that none of these researchers treats cancer patients.
That wasn't my game.
Rather, I called up each doctor's secretary, to ask for a call back.
The first such call, I explained that I was hoping to ask the doctor for referrals to Boston doctors who treat patients with this disease.
"Oh, so you're looking for a referral consult?" "Why yes, that's exactly what I'm hoping for, thank you.
" Thereafter, I just asked each secretary for a referral consult.
Some of the doctors called back the same day, others took two weeks.
Some gave me 15 minutes, others more like an hour.
One guy was in France.
In each call, I asked about preferred treatments, and what did the doctor think of the new drugs that were in clinical trial.
And always, by the end of the call, I asked, "Who are three clinicians in Boston who treat patients with this disease?" I was running a little popularity contest: I knew I'd eventually start hearing the same names over again from these researchers.
In the end, I had a list of four names that I'd heard more than once: two names that I had heard three times, and two that I'd heard twice.
I sent this short list to L.
It was kindof funny, to condense 80 hours of work into a list of four names.
At that time, in 2000, the median survival from diagnosis for non-Hodgkins Lymphoma was 11 years.
That means, half of all NHL patients live longer than 11 years, half not.
Unlike multiple myeloma, NHL wasn't particularly treatable; NHL was then accepted to be a slow but implacable killer.
But, as I told L at the time, the name of the game was to buy time: to stay alive until later research delivers a more-effective treatment.
From my list, L chose a doctor at Dana-Farber.
He knocked the disease back for a few years, then when her blood work started looking bad again, he recommended an autologous bone-marrow transplant, which until recently was the state of the art for a B-cell cancer like L's.
I looked into the transplant, and I urged L to do it.
But she was unwilling to undergo that much chemotherapy; she felt she'd had as much as she could bear, and by that time, her kids were older, so she felt she could accept death if necessary.
So she refused the transplant.
I was bummed.
But crucially, L had learned how to catch fish on her own.
She found various alternative treatments on the web, some of which, amazingly, worked well enough.
I remember her telling me something about a red yeast preparation, and a Japanese mushroom extract.
She took a lot of Chinese herbs, too.
In this way, L herself kept the cancer at bay for an extra eight or nine years.
Two years ago, her IgG numbers were climbing again, seemingly inexorably.
This was after my wife was diagnosed, but I was reluctant to tell L.
I waited about six weeks, before I finally called her house.
Not a fun phone call.
My breaking-the-news conversation with L ran to 90 minutes.
Some of the time, we talked about my wife's prospects, and of course, we talked about L's dwindling prospects, too.
But, y'know, L is religious, and so am I, so it wasn't actually that grim.
But she really brought me up short, early in the conversation, and again, just before we hung up, by telling me both times, with a lot of verve, "Seraphim, I want you to know, you saved my life.
If you hadn't found Dr.
T for me, I'd be dead now.
" I tried to demur, but she wasn't having any of that.
And I got off the phone, not really believing it.
I mean, I'd like to believe it's true, but objectively, there were other names on that list, and she might have ended up with one of those doctors anyway, without my help.
It was two winters ago, just after my wife's metastasis showed up, that L started taking a very new drug, one of the same class of drugs that I was trying to get for my wife.
L had found out about it on her own.
And all this year, her new drug has been working.
So my effort to buy L some time, maybe enough time, is still working, too.
L's kids are both tall and strong now, well-grown, and out on their own.
I guess that kinda matters a lot in this story.
This answer is part of .
All of my longer answers are .
As a physician in training, while there are a couple of lives I have saved along the way, my mind always goes back to the first one.
During my intern days, Surgery was amongst my first rotation.
It was a ragtag posting with many fond memories.
There were many bedside skills I picked up during the posting.
However, the most valuable thing I've learned during Surgery was recognition of an acutely ill patient.
This is how a doctor saves a life.
My story began on a Saturday Night.
Of all days I had to go for dinner with one of my colleagues prior a night call.
We finished dinner at 9 pm & as my shift would have begun at 10 pm, I figured, I should just go early to the Hospital for an early handover.
When I arrived, everything seemed peaceful, the curtains are all drawn up, the patients are all sleeping, the nurses seemed happily chatting at the nurses' station.
The other interns were at the back of the ward, completing the handover sheet (a list of patients in the ward, with their respective diagnosis & pending plans).
I then did a quick round of the ward, to review all patients.
It is my habit of doing so, to nip problems before the dead of night, where all senior residents are asleep & are often reluctant to respond.
There was one patient, however, who caught my eye.
He was a patient belonging to the Urology take.
There he was, writhing in pain, with a foley catheter inserted, he seemed confused & unable to speak in full sentences.
The urine bag was full of blood, to make matters worse, clots! As this was the first time I am seeing this patient, I decided to read his file to understand the case a little further.
(A Stock Image of Hematuria)
Apparently, he has been having Hematuria (Bleeding in the Urine) for the past 1 week.
As he was losing blood through the urine, it made sense for his low Hemoglobin of 6.
0 (a component of Red Blood Cells) resulting in the Anemia.
During admission, he also complained of shortness of breath, the Emergency physicians did an EKG & cardiac enzymes, concluding he had an NSTEMI.
The low Hemoglobin has also precipitated a Heart Attack; a serious complication due to inadequate oxygen for the heart tissues.
(I'm trying hard to avoid medical jargon here)
He was thus admitted to the Urology take that afternoon with 3 problems:
Hematuria for further investigation
Anemia secondary to the Hematuria
NSTEMI secondary to the Anemia
The Urology team wishes to explore the site of bleeding through Cystoscopy, where they insert a camera through the Urethra to visualize the bladder, with the express purpose of diagnosis & for further action.
However, the operation was blocked by the Anesthesiologist as they deem his Hemoglobin to be too low for the op.
They are afraid the patient is unable to cope with extra blood loss during Surgery.
They urged that he be transfused with 4 pints of pack cells before the operation.
The Urology team hence did as requested & also admitted the patient to the ward for bladder irrigation (to wash out whatever clots in the bladder as possible).
Back at the ward, I took one good look at him and I realized something was not right.
Behind the veil of the curtains, he was visibly gasping for air, with visible distended neck veins, I heard coarse crackles as I auscultated at the base of the Lungs.
The Oxygen Saturation was 75% (A normal saturation being 95 – 100%); I took an instant ABG & it revealed Type 1 Respiratory Acidosis; a Chest X-Ray revealed:
(A Stock image of Pulmonary Edema)
My diagnosis: Pulmonary Edema secondary to overzealous transfusion.
To simplify, this patient has had a heart attack upon admission.
While he does require blood transfusions to optimize his hemoglobin prior surgery, the transfusion should be a slow & spaced out.
In his case, he had 3 pints of blood transfused in a span of 6 hours, it is no wonder that his heart is unable to cope with the extra load imposed by the packs of blood, resulting in the overspilling of blood into the lungs.
This extra fluid in the lungs will impair the exchange of oxygen & carbon dioxide; which will cause a failure in ventilation.
Without oxygen, this patient will die.
Right here right now, further action needs to be taken! This patient is crashing fast.
As I didn't know how to intubate patients, I knew I had to contact my senior resident.
She shrugs off my complaints & suggestion, stating that she has just seen the patient & it is impossible for him to be in such a state in such a short span of time & asked me to monitor the patient.
This went back & forth in 2 separate conversations; eventually, she relented.
While I was severely reprimanded for being such a nuisance, she ultimately agreed with me & the patient was intubated & sedated; he was also transferred to ICU for further treatment & monitoring.
2 days later, his general condition improved, he was extubated.
With his hemoglobin stabilized, he was scheduled for a Cystoscopy & the eventually diagnosed with early stage of Bladder Cancer.
He was eventually scheduled for Transurethral Resection of Bladder Tumor (TURBT) during the same admission.
Postoperatively & after a few days of monitoring, he recovered uneventfully & the decision was made by consultants to discharge him.
Nothing gave me as much satisfaction as I signed off his discharge papers.
It might be a long time ago, but every time I think about saving lives, I always remember this story & how saving lives begins with identifying which life needs saving.
I am glad I have the opportunity to learn from this patient & to tell of this story.
Well, I may have, who knows.
And that was very, very awkward.
Couple of years ago I was having lunch with two colleagues at a popular restaurant next to our workplace.
Imagine a burger-type of place, maybe 80 guests around, bright colors and lots of noise from the silverware clinking and people chatting all around.
I was having a conversation with my colleagues when the guy on the next table on my right started coughing.
It started with just a small cough, but he was getting louder and louder… At that point the two persons he was sitting with were just staring at him, the girl repeating like a broken record “Are you OK? Are you OK? Are you OK?”.
The guy was turning white, dripping spit in his plate, obviously struggling for air, his cough louder and louder, with a high whistle like sound over it.
“Are you OK? Are you OK?” kept repeating the girl.
And here I was, seating just a meter away from that guy when I realized that the restaurant had become very quiet, and that I was just doing the same thing as everyone else : staring, wide eyed, and not doing anything about it.
I snapped out of it, at this very moment.
I had attended an emergency training over 20 years ago, I never ever had to use it, but trying was better than doing nothing.
So I got up, got behind the guy , told him “Get up!” (he didn’t, I had to lift him up), put my arms around him, my fist on his plexus, and pulled twice as hard as I could.
Heimlich would have been proud.
The guy half vomited a piece of burger in his plate, his face turning back to pink…
Now for the awkward part : everyone was staring at me now, the restaurant still dead silent, while I do not like being the center of attention.
Like, at all.
I was blushing hard, silently sat down back at my chair, the now-breathing guy barely said a small thank you that I acknowledged with a nod, not looking at him.
In hindsight, I think he was initially trying to seduce the cute blond girl seating in front of him, and vomiting in his plate was probably not getting him any closer to her (dating pro-tip : do not vomit in front of your date at the restaurant).
I was red faced, sweating hard, praying for my two colleagues to start chatting again, not mentioning was just happened… They were still staring at me, but slowly, after what felt like an eternity but surely was only seconds, the conversations started again around us, my colleagues picked our conversation were we had left it, forks and knives clinked again… Phew…
Finally the comical relief came when we came back to the office : another colleague asked us “Hey, how was the burgers today?”, to which one of my two colleagues from the restaurant replied, without missing a beat :
“Well, the burgers were fine.
But Jim broke two ribs to the guy at the next table.
Cue fit of laughter that allowed me to breathe! :-)
I’d like to warn some of the readers that the topics being discussed are serious, so if you have anything personal regarding self-harm, suicide, depression, or anything like that, I suggest taking this slow if you are going to read it.
If you aren’t as tolerable, that’s perfectly fine.
Please skip this answer.
Have a great day!
S: Vulgar language ahead.
I’ll be using an anonymous name for this for safety/privacy purposes.
I work for a few communities dealing with suicide, self-harm, depression – all the sorts.
I was reached out to by someone who was under immense stress and circumstances.
We’ll call this person “Tina.
” Tina was a pretty young person.
She was 15 or 16 at the time, and I was 14.
I talked to Tina, asking what was causing her stress, and she replied that she was tired of feeling worthless, as if she was a burden to the World for just existing.
It hurt me to see how she phrased things.
She spoke as if she was already dead.
It honestly shocked me down to my core, and my responses were like noodles for a bit; weak.
I finally had a change in mentalities for a bit, so I got to an even level with her for a moment.
I asked Tina what events led to her feeling this way, and if she’s done anything about how she feels yet.
Her response was something along the lines of “I’ve been just treated like shit for so long.
I just want to die already.
I’ve tried to kill myself, and I’ve tried to cut the numb feeling away.
Nothing is working.
I sympathized with Tina about this, so I shared my experience with the topic.
She and I understood each other, and I got her to reach an agreement with me on how much her value was – even to me, a stranger over the Internet.
Although I haven’t kept in touch, I’m sure she’s doing alright.
For any of those who may be feeling this way, I’d like to remind you that you’re not alone, you are loved, and that there is hope.
People care about you and they value your being for just being alive.
I, for one, will stand by that statement even past death.
If you or someone you know is going through these struggles, please talk to someone – even me if you need to.
Here are a handful of sources that I use:
Thanks for taking your time to read this.
I hope everyone’s day is going well, and if not, I hope it gets much better as time goes.
I saved a baby girl in the rain, my brother, my helicopter crew and me, and me as a 10 year old.
Cut My Artery
I was about 10, I was cutting a hole in a cardboard box with a box cutter knife so our 7 new kittens could get in and out of the box.
I was sitting cross legged in front of the box.
The knife slipped and sliced the artery in my right ankle.
There was so much blood and every heart beat it seemed to squirted.
I was home alone, I stayed very calm, pulled my t-shirt off and pressed as hard as I could on my cut ankle.
I scooted over and called 911 (no cell phones then, just a rotary phone).
I was up stairs, so I had to scoot down the stairs, then to the door and got out side on the porch where I waited for the ambulance.
There was no Darwin award back then, but if I had died I would have won for sure.
Crying baby in the Rain
It was dark with pouring rain, we almost ran over a crying, soaked baby girl sitting in the middle of the street.
She got out of her apartment and crawled into the street and stopped.
My wife noticed her just in time.
We jumped out, my wife sweep her up and her rain soaked diaper fell off.
We took her to our house (very close), warmed her up, put dry cloths on her and went to the apartment managers office (20-30 minutes).
They recognized the baby right away and took her from us.
They said this happened once before, the mom fell asleep and leaves the glass sliding door open.
My Younger Brother
I am 13 years older than my brother, he was about 3, I was about 16.
He started choking.
No one panicked, at first, my mom was slapping his back.
But soon he started to turn a little blue and still was chocking badly.
I grabbed him by his heals and started shaking him upside down, finally he spit out a quarter and started crying-he was OK.
I had a controlled crash in an Army helicopter I was flying as the pilot in charge.
Military pilots are highly trained, so I just did my job.
No one was hurt, we had to be rescued, the tail rotor section had almost disintegrated.
Author of 4 time award winning