Thursday, 29 October 2009

My Life is Never Dull

On Monday we received a telephone call from my nephew wondering if he could stay for a few days. So off we set to fetch him.

This was handy in some ways as we were off to Sheffield the following day and would be returning home on Wednesday evening.

The visit to Sheffield was very worthwhile and one I may be repeating in the near future. The main purpose of the visit was to help a national department store implement a mastectomy range of lingerie and they required input from the "experts". There were four from the local breast cancer support group, myself, one lady from Manchester and another lady from Leeds.

Each one of us had a different story to tell as to how we had come to needing a mastectomy or in some cases a double mastectomy.

The main thing we all agreed on was at present there is a lack of style, fashion and colour in the mastectomy ranges currently offered.

This will no doubt be changing next September when the mastectomy range gets launched by this retailer.

Today we received a telephone call from my nephew's girlfriend advising us he should be attending Hereford Hospital today and that his social worker would be taking him from Llandrindod Wells.

We woke him up and got organised to head to Llandrindod in plenty of time to meet the social worker to get him to the hospital on time. Things never seem to go according to plan in my family and this was no exception through no fault of our own.

A farmer had been walking on the opposite side of the road with a dog not on a lead. There were two cars in front us and we all slowed down. The dog ran into the road whereupon the car two cars in front of us braked hard, the car behind did the same but was unable to avoid a collision.

All I saw was a spray of something go up in the air, I assumed it was feathers to start with but then it dawned on me it was glass.

It then sank in what had happened. My nephew and I got out of the car and went to the cars in front to make sure the occupants were ok. They were alive and able to talk but they were not 100%. I instructed my husband to ring for an ambulance.

The occupant of one of the cars was able to get herself out and came over to me. I could see she was shaken by what had happened. Both cars were a mess, one was leaking fluid and both had filled with smoke from when the airbags had gone off.

She said she felt faint so I led her to our car where I instructed her to sit down and put her head between her knees. She kept insisting on going to the other car to see that the occupants of that car were ok. I told her they were ok and talking but were shaken up just like she was.

The first ambulance arrived and took over they gave her oxgen and asked me to stay with her. I was more than happy to help. We were both told an ambulance from Knighton was coming to deal with her shortly. I kept an eye on the oxygen cylinder to make sure it didn't hit the red area and need replacing. During this time she told me her legs felt funny and were hurting her. I tried to attract the attention of the first ambulance crew but by this time they were busy with the occupants of the other car.

I tried telephoning her father for her as she kept saying she wanted him told but knew he would be angry about the car. I kept reassuring her by saying that a car could eventually be replaced but she couldn't be. She was on her way to sign on at the Job Centre and was really anxious about this. She asked me "Will you do me a huge favour?" I wondered what it could be. She then said would I go to the Job Centre and let them know she wouldn't be signing on today and what happened. I promised I would do this as soon as I reached Llandrindod.

When the ambulance from Knighton arrived I tried to get it to stop behind our car. It didn't realise what I was trying to do and went too far ahead. The crew reversed it back when they realised I was attending to their patient.

I left them to it when they got the stretcher and put her in the ambulance. A bit later the ambulance crew beckoned with their hand. I looked dumb then realised they were asking for me. As they were male crew they wanted a female to reassure their patient while they examined her in the ambulance and as we had a rapport going they asked for me. So in I went. The poor girl had to have her jeans cut. I joked and said it was a good excuse to get her mum to buy her a new pair.

Then a police lady entered the ambulance I told the patient not to worry too much about things and to answer the questions honestly. She was so very brave. Then she burst into tears asking if the occupants of the other car were ok. The police lady reassured her and even told her not to worry too much this was an accident and we all have them sooner or later.

Meanwhile my husband and nephew had given statements to the police and a description of the person with the dog.

I imagine if we hadn't stopped or if someone else hadn't stopped yet witnessed the accident the police would be baffled about "there was a dog honest but it has gone now".

That is exactly what had happened the person and the dog had disappeared soon after the impact.

We all felt it was our duty to stay and help those injured until the ambulance arrived. Other cars stopped to help too.

One thing we did find strange was one chap ambled up past me towards the damaged cars, the police officers asked if they could help him. He was a foreigner and wanted to go further on to the main accident. The police advised him to get back in his car. Initially he refused and just stood on the verge.

Eventually he listened to the police warning him to go back to his car or further action would be taken.

I stayed in the ambulance until they were ready to depart to Hereford. I left the young lady with the words "You are in safe hands now".

I kept my promise and went to the Job Centre. I explained who I had come on behalf of and why she couldn't sign on. The person I spoke to said "You had better hang on and we will give you some forms for her to sign as to why she can't be here". I explained I was a stranger and had no idea where she lived or how to pass the forms on to her. Then my husband and I left the job centre.

Under these circumstances I thought the job centre would realise it was a genuine reason why someone could not sign on for benefits and that the last thing on their mind would be how to obtain further forms to sign while they are being transported by ambulance to hospital.

As you can see from above my life is never dull or boring.

I wish all the occupants of the car crash a speedy recovery.

It makes you wonder if this happened to you would anyone else stop to help?

Best wishes to everyone



  1. Wow! No your life is never dull and I was fascinated, anxious to know what happened. You coped so well, and I especially admired the way you went to Sheffield as an advisor, and good luck with a really attractive mastectomy range. If I'm ever in an accident like the one you describe, I hope you are around....hugs and love xx

  2. Thanks Carole,

    I just did what I thought I ought to and put myself in the young lady's position as to what would I want to hear and what would I want someone to do for me if I was in that position.

    The young lady's father telephoned me last night to let me know she is out of hospital and is severely bruised from the accident that is all.

    This was a relief and I was able to go out to do what I needed to do without feeling guilty or worried.

    Best wishes to you.