Reason for this question heading is that I was happy minding my own business when approximately around 5pm I get a frantic knock on the van door. “are you there June” said the stranger at my door, ” yes I said”. “A friend of yours has had a bad accident on the beach”. This being a woman that I had only known for two days.
So off I go with the stranger to where lay Sabina, a German lady who had been playing around with her mono paragliding chute. When the wind apparently picked her up to about ten metres then dropped her hard onto the beach. Just as I arrive the police and ambulance had also arrived. Michelle the stranger that called for me had already got Sabina’s bag out of the van with her passport and other relevant documentation in it and gave it to me. “Oh so glad you are here” said Sabina. “I need help”.
So what else could I do seeing a person who is a single fellow female traveller, travelling alone, other than to offer my assistance so I reassure her that I would come with her in the ambulance. Some people rolled up her chute once she had been cut free from the harness and bungled it into the back of her van. I made arrangement for afriend on the camp site named Ged to take her van to the camp site as she was wild camping on the beach. I thought that the van would be safer there and also made arrangements for Ged to pick us up from the Hospital in Motril, some 20 km away when we had finnished getting her checked out. After an hour on the beach waiting for the medics to make her comfortable enough to move we set of to Motril Hospital.
When we arrived I went to the check in point with one of the ambulance crew, while the rest of the crew took Sabina into the waiting area on a stretcher. Then I went and joined Sabina who was taken down on a trolly for an x-ray. They showed that she had fractured two of her vertebrae in her spine. She was discharged and told to come back on Monday morning for a brace to be fitted. They could not do it that night as the Orthopaedic shop was shut for a festival. It was Friday evening 5th of January the evening they celebrate the three kings it is their kind of Christmas. I was looking forward to seeing the parade of the thee kings in La Herradura, but other things like helping this young woman of 37 years out took priority in my book.
It was difficult to find a late night chemist, so I said that I had some Tremadol that would help until morning. Then I could go and get her Heprium injections and Tramadol from the chemist in La Herradura, which I did first thing the next day. There was only one chemist out of the three open in La Herradura due to it being their Christmas Day.
Ged collected us from the Hospital, we arrived back on the camp site about 10:30 ish pm Ged put her van on chocks to even and level it out. Sabina however could only moan that the van was not level enough for her liking. Moan about the way kind people had put sand in her bed when putting the para wing into the back of the van. Ged kindly brought a hand hoover over and I hoovered her matrice for her. She wanted Ged to rearrange the chocks under the van. It was getting on for 11pm by now, so Itold her that I would not ask Ged to do anything else tonight and think it would have to do until the morning. She had not even verbally thanked Ged for collecting her from the hospital, so I said thank you. In my mind I put her ungrateful attitude down to the fact that she was tired and in some discomfort with her back plus she had had a lot of medication. So once she was comfortable I went to my own van walked and fed my two dogs then I went to bed.
In the morning first thing I went to the chemist and got Sabina’s prescription, came back and made her a coffee.
Next day I kept an eye on her needs, not that she wanted a lot as the medication made her sleepy. I cleared her stay on site with the site manager. The following day I gave her a bar of chocolate and made her some chips as she was only eating bread, lettuce and cheese, but I though it was a cold night and that she needed something hot to eat. She was a vegetarian so I thought chips, she was delighted to have them.
Come Monday morning and it was time to go back to the Hospital. I had to drive her van a small old people wagon, not the old VW kind, as mine would never of got down the road at the Hospital and she could lay down in hers on her bed. Firstly she wanted me to drive her to the bank and draw some 900 euros out. Then as I drove around the corner I accidentally clipped a cars wing mirror with the bicycle wheel that was on the back of the van. No harm done, I pulled over and the wing mirror had flicked back into place without breaking. It took a little getting use to as the van was automatic and the steering wheel was on the opposite side to what I am use to, but I soon got the hang of it. I asked her to set the sat nav for the Hospital, but she snapped at me ” I want to count my money”. I told her if she set the sat nav I could be on my way and she could count her money while i was driving, anybody would have though that she did not trust the cash machine or that she did not trust me to give her all of her money as that became more important than getting her to the Hospital.
Anyway we get to the Hospital”. Are you bored yet, don’t be it gets worse! We are at the hospital the nurses bring her a trolley to lie down on and she starts demanding their attention, bare in mind that I have not checked her in yet. So I go and do the check in with the paperwork that she had been given on the Friday night, when I walk back to where she was in the corridor she is shouting “pov a vou pov a vou” and shouting “why doesn’t anybody want to help me around here”. I told her that they were busy she replied in a very loud voice “but I am desperate, nobody is listening to me”. I told her that I was dealing with her situation and that if she behaved like that in a UK Hospital she would be escorted out as we have a zero tolerance for that kind of behaviour and that I was finding out what I have to do and where I have to go.
A nice nurse explained as best she could in her broken English that I had to go across the road to the Orthopaedic shop, purchase the brace then the orthopaedic technician would come across and fit it within about 20 minutes or so. Off I go and sort this out. They could not of been more helpful. When I return to the Hospital Sabina, who by the way is surpposed to be a qualified educated Vet was pacing up and down the corridor screaming, crying and shouting at everybody for their attention. I took her to one side got her back on a trolley told her to calm down and that the technician will be with her ASAP, and he was. At last the brace was fitted. I apologised to the nursing staff and found the whole episode highly embarrassing. “Are we ready to go now” I asked her, “yes she said. So while she was waiting at the exit point I proceeded to the underground car park to fetch the van around, when I got there Sabina refused to get into the van, shouting again, this time “I want my pictures, I want my photos” meaning her x-rays. I told her that she could get them in three weeks when she comes back for her follow up appointment, she shouted “what if I need them for Germany”. I told her that I was sure that once back home they would take other x-rays, but she still refused to get into the van and continued making a big fuss, with that the security quite rightly moved me on. I told her that I was not going down into that tight underground car park again and that I would go around the block and pick her up.
Unfortunately for me as I drove down the narrow road to circumnavigate, there were cars parked on both sides of the road and one was half on the pavement and half on the road and I just scrapped the tail end of his car causing a little paint work damage. I stopped to sort it out with the man but he kept looking at the front of his old banger of a car. I offered him some money for the small amount of paint damage at the back of the car, but he was still trying to make out that there was more damage. This was impossible as the road was very narrow. I was unable to drive more than 5mph and I stopped immediately I felt the scrape Anyway by this time other motorists were tooting and getting impatient behind me. So I indicated to the the man that I would go around the block and come back to him, I then drove off. To my joy I saw some policemen doing spot checks on the roundabout, so I pulled over and told them that I had had a small bump with another car. They kindly called for the traffic Garder civil, who were with me in about 5 minutes. He spoke good English and made my day as he was excellent eye candy. I explained why I was driving someone elses van and that I had had a bump. So he followed me around to the scene of the bump, but the car had gone, possibly because he was parked illegally and therefore may have been in trouble himself or be void of any insurance claim. The police officer told me that if the man never reports the matter then nothing more will happen I asked if I was in trouble for driving someone elses van and he told me no, you have done a good thing in reporting the incident and helping the German lady. We went to the Hospital where Sabina had now calmed down and told her about the incident. The police officer told me that I could not of caused much damage to the other car as there was little evidence on the van of any major bump. The officer checked out Sabina’s Green card. Sabina told me not to worry it was a very old van anyway and she finally got into the car and we made our way back to La Herradura.
Sabina had a phone call from Michelle the stranger who fetched me from my van when she first had the accident. He had told her that the little house that he and his family had been staying in was vacant from Wednesday. She agreed with the landlord to move in, after all it was better than trying to recover from two fractured vertebrae in a small camper van as everything was on ground floor, Sabina got someone else to drive her there.
The next day I send her a message offering to do her shopping for her tomorrow if she writes a list of what she wants, but that I was out all day. When I got back Ged and I were having a chat when I received a message from Sabina about the car. Thinking that the man had reported the paint job I phoned her only to find out that she wants my insurance details so that she could put the small scrape on her car right. I told her that I could not claim off my insurance, she said “why are you not insured”. Of cause I am I told her but my insurance wont pay for the scrape on her van. I was quite naturally taken back by this as she had already said that the van was old and that it did not matter. But I was also annoyed that after all that I had done for her this was the thanks I was going to get, not that I wanted any thanks.
Anyway she hung up. The next few text messages went like this all her spelling not mine :
pls let me know your details address, ect and dont disappear like a criminal thx
I didnt want a discussion we can talk like adults please I appreciate your good intention but u did a mess and pls stand for that
But I guess Spain is cheaper to repair its 5 parts I can afford dont want to get reminded of that day
Apart from that I wish u a happy journey n that u can deal with the loss of ur husband.
I may well of gone around to talk about the van and the scrape and explained to her that my insurance only covers my van not her’s and that if she wanted to put her minute scrape right she could name me as the driver of her van. But it would be likely that her insurance may of only covered her for third party. I may of even offered to pay some money out of my pocket to help her put the scrape right on her van. But her first text to me amounted to nothing less an insult after all I had done for her. Her second text saying we can talk like adults was amusing to say the least after the none adult behaviour she displayed at the Hospital. I think that the third and fourth messages were her back pedalling and had realised that she had just burnt her bridge with me, but for me it was to late, the first two messages were the straws that broke the camels back. I did not reply to any of them and have no intentions of doing so. Would you?
So back to the question heading at the beginning of this blog. SHOULD I STOP AND HELP OTHERS IN A CRISIS?
Well I would like to think that I would as it is in my nature that’s the kind of person I am happy to be and I have no intentions of letting one spoilt obnoxious ungrateful individual changing that…