Friday, April 13, 2012

Day 104: Cared For A Man Who Collapsed

Up until today (and every day after today) I have performed my random acts on the day that I blog about it. I made it a point that I would do my acts of kindness every single day of the year, and not do a bunch on the weekend and then stretch them across the blog. I just felt as though it was being disingenuous because one of the main themes behind this was to show that it isn't difficult to perform random acts of kindness every single day. Something that happened yesterday, however, led me to break my rule this one time. It was a truly random act of kindness and one that honestly worried the hell out of me.

While in the middle of my work day near Northwestern Hospital, a woman came running into the building I was in to ask for help. I didn't hear her at first, but the man at the front desk of the building ran over and asked if I could help the woman since he couldn't leave his post. I said of course and sprinted outside to see what was the matter. I saw an older gentleman lying halfway on the ground and halfway inside of a cab. At this point, my random acts weren't even a thought, I just knew that I had to help the man. When I came up, he was completely out of it. He had just left a doctor's appointment, and as he was getting into a cab, he lost feeling in his legs and collapsed on the ground. I asked the woman he was with to call 911, and while she did that, I worked on getting the gentleman to a safe place on the sidewalk (the cab was in the middle of traffic). With the help of another passerby, we lifted the man over to the sidewalk. I held him up and stayed with him because he seemed to be very confused. I kept talking to him because he seemed to be losing it a little bit and I wanted to make sure he remained calm. In my own mind, I was getting somewhat frustrated because we were in the middle of a gigantic medical complex, the man was obviously having a medical issue, and people passed by like nothing was a matter, doctors included. Finally after about 10 minutes (again, we were in a medical complex and it took 10 minutes), the ambulance arrived. At that point the paramedics took over and loaded the man into the ambulance and drove away. The woman that he was with, a co-worker I later found out, thanked me and headed off to follow him to the ER. I only got his last name, and due to hospital regulations, I wasn't able to figure out if he was OK. So if somehow, anyone knows Mr. Snyder (Tom I think his name was) that had a medical emergency near Northwestern Hospital in Chicago, please pass along my well wishes. Since this technically took place yesterday, I will be sure to weave different small random acts into my daily routine.


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  2. You should add 'Sign the donor card' to one of your random acts of kindness (If you believe in it). That way, you can help save people like this man, and up to 6 other people through organ donations.

    Great job, and you're a great Samaritan :)

  3. Wow, just being calm and talking to someone in a medical situation is truly selfless service! I had a medical emergency in Albuquerque in 2007 and some man I don't know helped me so much! I never got his name or ever was able to thank him, but I've never forgotten it!


  4. One wonders how people could walk by a situation like that. However, about 5 years ago, I tripped and fell very hard on a sidewalk in Newport RI. I lay flailing on the sidewalk and only one person came to help as crowds walked by. With his help I got up and then went to search for my umbrella that had blown into the street. Nobody stayed to see if I was OK.


  6. I am so moved by this blog. Cheers for the huge heart!!!

    Cathy Trails

  7. this just goes to show how uninterested we as a people are in those around us, especially those that are hurting or have an emergency. we really need to pay more attention to one another's needs.

  8. You have a kind heart!!

    Well I'm sure that more people would help and not just walk by, but I think that for many when something happens they get caught off guard and don't want to intervene because they don't know how to help in the first place.

    But when you said DOCTORS walked by.. That just shows how cold of a heart some of them have. They don't care of the well being of others, they are only in it for the money.

    I can't say I see many Doctors that work for free!!!

  9. I'm a doc, and that sort of situation STILL scares the snot out of me. You are out there with no tools, no meds, and nothing but your bare hands and open heart to help. Docs are like everybody else - they don't like to go outside of their comfort zones; and there is, in addition to natural discomfort, that legal nonsense dribbling through our brains about 'liability' and 'getting sued.'

    It's not an excuse, just an explanation. And that being said, I do stop if it appears there is anything more I could be doing than what is already being done.

    You did great. You offered physical assistance to get him to safety (I couldn't have done that). You stayed and offered comfort and support (I could have done that if I'd been there but you'd have beaten me to it LOL). And no one can ask for more - good job, and excellent kindness.


    1. DeeDee,

      I just want to make it clear that I wasn't trying to knock doctors. I have great friends who are doctors and completely understand the whole liability issue. I was just amazed that so many people, doctor and non-doctor, walked by without even asking what was the matter.