life on the funny farm

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Wrong Place, Right Time

Recently the whole fambly (less a couple kids) trekked into Philly to see a Blue Man Group show.

Have you ever seen them? If they're ever in your area you MUST go. They're amazing.

Anyway, our getting there was touch and go. Fred got back late from being on call. We left without the tickets and had to go back for them. The car started acting funny. We had to drop two kids off on the way, and that made us even later. We finally got there and got through the doors to take our seats within about a minute of them closing the doors to late arrivals.

The seats we had were less than stellar. There had been some kind of problem with the original tickets Fred had ordered, and the agency exchanged them for different seats. We never did find out why they made that switch. So we were in the very highest section of the balcony in the very back row.

OK, whatevs. It is what it is, I figured, even though some of our view was obscured by the slope of the ceiling.

But about halfway through the show, the weirdest thing happened.

The ushers were escorting a man out. I guess they believed him to be drunk, the way he was staggering, and they were more carrying him than escorting him, walking down the aisleway right behind us. Then he slipped out of their grasp and fell to the floor, slumped halfway down the stairs a few seats away from me to my right. He was lying there on the steps and several ushers were just standing around him staring at him, I guess unsure what to do.

"Fred, what's going on? Something's wrong with that man," I whispered.

Fred looked over as the ushers were hauling the man to his feet. They dragged him a little farther, opened a door, then released him and he fell forward again onto the fire escape landing two or three stories up.

Fred got up then to go check things out. I saw him work with the ushers to get the man up and bring him into the lobby.

He was gone a good long while.

I heard the siren of an ambulance.

Fred finally made his way back to his seat, but I didn't get the full story till we were on our way home.

That man? Not drunk. Apparently he has cancer, and he had given blood that morning in preparation for his upcoming surgery. Also, he hadn't eaten much at all. So his blood sugar went a little wonky, and he had a vasovagal reaction.

When they got the man to the lobby, he was in bad shape. Disoriented. Couldn't stand. He threw up. These guys were all just standing around staring at him as Fred was trying to roll him onto his side so he wouldn't aspirate and choke on his own vomit. He had cut his head when he fell. No one even called 911 till Fred told them to do so.

But Fred had control of the scene and made sure everything happened that should have.

And that guy? He's going to be OK.

And I can't help but think that if our seats hadn't been switched, we never would have been aware of what was going on with that man.

Those idiots threw him onto the fire escape.
Stood and watched him as he lay on his back and vomited.

I know Fred has saved countless lives in his 20 years as a trauma surgeon, by being in the right place at the right time in the hospital as dying patients were brought to him.

But this is the second time he has saved someone by being in the wrong place at the right time.

Someone had His hand in this....

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  1. Wonderful me tingles, and at the same time great concern for those who happen to fall and need help while in the company of idiots. I am so thankful Fred was there to help:-)

  2. This made me cry. My daughter has a medical condition, and I hope if she ever finds herself in need of help when she is out in public that someone as compassionate as your husband is nearby. It could save her life.

  3. Your husband is a true hero, and what a great lesson about the importance of not judging others. Things are NOT always as they seem!

  4. And we're going to talk about that other incident in my next book, right?!?

  5. Thanks, ladies. I was so proud of him, and thankful we were there when it happened. I keep thinking of that man getting up from his stupor and pitching off the fire escape to his death. That's a scary what-if.

    And Nancy, yes, you'll get the exclusive on "that other incident"!

  6. Such an amazing story. Everyday deed of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Your husband was so so brave, a hero. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  7. Good for Fred. And for you for having such compassion.

  8. Wow, this is simply an incredible story!

  9. That is amazing. I guess it was meant to be!

    Thanks for sharing - stopping by from #SITSSharefest

  10. Ohh, that hurts my heart. And makes me happy Fred was there for him. What is wrong with people? Even if he had been drunk, it's dangerous to throw a man onto a fire escape. Those ushers need sensitivity training, among other things. Kudos to your family!

  11. That is such a shame that those ushers would first of all assume that the man was drunk and then not even help him when he clearly was sick (vomiting). I'm glad your husband was there to help. he definitely probably saved his life! Stopping in (late) from sharefest!

  12. Visiting from Mom's Monday Mingle. Glad to discover your website. I hope you'll share it at this week's Friday Flash Blog on The Jenny Evolution ( Would love to have you join our community.

  13. Great story, thanks for sharing.
    Thanks for linking up at the friday chaos hop

    Have a great weekend


  14. So glad your husband knew what to do. Thanks for sharing up at Family Fun Friday.

  15. Wow! I can't believe the ushers treated that man so badly. Good thing you and your husband were on hand to help him.

    I agree - everything happens for a reason.

    Visiting from SITS.

  16. O my goodness. I bet the ushers where young kids who had no idea what was going on. Thank you for this great post.

  17. Thanks everyone, for all the wonderful comments!



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