“Medical Emergency” On the Metro

Last Tuesday morning a young man traveling on the train with me – in the same car – had a seizure.  Other passengers and I tried our best to help but none of us were medical professionals. One lady, who saw him falling, knew something was wrong because of jerky hand motions.  She knelt beside him, turned him on his side, and patted his back while he was unconscious and after he woke up, disoriented.  She didn’t move until the paramedics arrived. Another passenger alerted the train operator.  I and another passenger called 911 to report the incident and request help. So, yes, we did what we could…yet I still felt so utterly helpless.

He lay on the ground shaking for what seemed like forever.  Then he just lay there unable to move…and after, a bit, he seemed unsure of moving. We relayed the instructions of the dispatcher: keep him on his side, don’t let him get up.  He looked so disoriented and frightened. It must have been terrifying not to be able to speak.  We didn’t even know his name!

When the young man came to he couldn’t speak. For a brief moment I imagined how frightened he was.  This habit I have of weaving stories about the people I see on the Metro.  He was obviously dressed for work — dress slacks, long-sleeved shirt, light jacket, his bag. His shoes had come off during the episode.  A young black man.  Not older than 30 I think.  Rid of the Monday Blues and ready to tackle Tuesday.  I’m so glad he had this episode once he stepped onto the train and not while he was on the platform.

Be kind...

It was uncomfortable for me to see him like that…felt helpless.  I really don’t have anything profound to say.  The incident has just been on my mind and last night as I lay down in bed, I decided to post about.  Just the “usual” reminders to cherish each day, cherish your loved ones, cherish yourself.  Don’t take your blessings, life, time on Earth for granted.  You know, the “usual.”  I mean, you really never know.  Be kind.  And thoughtful.  Be grateful.  Do what you can to help someone who needs; it may not seem like a lot but it could be just enough.  Recently there have been stories of people stepping over people in distress on the Metro.  Of ignoring or not seeing that people around them obviously need help.  Yet people are quick to whip pit their phones to record an incident and upload it to Youtube.  So weird to me.  In China, of people ignoring children in distress in traffic.  Why?  I have no idea and it makes no sense to me.  Bystander effect, people say.  I don’t even think it’s possible to logically analyze those situations; it’ll probably drive me mad.

Appreciate each moment & the folks in your life + be grateful and kind.

I hope that the young man is OK…

2 Responses to ““Medical Emergency” On the Metro”
  1. Wow. I hope he’s ok too. The fact that you & the others cared is enough to comfort my thoughts for him. Wow.

  2. Ms. Nikks says:

    I too am glad he didn’t have his seizure on the platform. Mostly I’m glad that there were caring people there with him. It’s unfortunate that this happened, but it’s also an eye opener in so many ways. It shows that there are still kind people in the world. That we ought to cherish our friends, families, and neighbours. That there’s still goodness and hope in this world. Glad you were all there for him.

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