Archive for June, 2010

This weekend has so far given me  a wide range of cases, some of which i see everyday, and others I would rather never see again. Motor vehicle accidents,  drunken drivers, a house fire and babies dying.

The house fire, starting in the garage and spreading, luckily not gutting the house.

Two cases that really affected me this weekend were the two 5 month old babies that died in front of me…

The first one was completely avoidable. Why? Because I again highlight the need for car seats. Mom and dad were driving home from having dinner with friends, with their 5 month old baby boy asleep on mom’s lap. A suspected drunk driver, we suspected, the cops suspected and so he was arrested under said suspicion, skipped a red robot and smashed into the driver’s side of the family.  Mom and dad were not injured due to their efficient use of seatbelts. This beautiful, innocent baby boy, who had a future of probably grand and awesome things, died after his head hit the dashboard after being flung out of mom’s arms due to the massive centrifugal forces involved in accidents.  How people think they can hold onto their children in an accident is beyond me. The forces involved are just too large.

Then we have the little 5 month old baby girl that drowned on formula. Or so we think. What we were told, is that she choked while drinking her bottle, and stopped breathing. With my hands encircled around this beautiful baby girl, compressing her chest, massaging her little heart with my thumbs, squeezing the bag supplying precious oxygen to her lungs, hoping beyond hope that her heart gives a kick, and starts again, watching all the crew working tirelessly to save her, i couldn’t help wondering what she would have grown up to be.  Would she be a teacher, a doctor, or nurse? Maybe a shop keeper, reporter or even a politician? We will never know… Her life slipped away, and she died, leaving a stricken and distraught mother and very sombre emergency crew…

To all Freemasons…

Posted: June 24, 2010 in Masonic, Poem
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… wherever they may be, over land sea or in the air… (Tyler’s toast to you all)

Today is Universal Brotherhood Day, and to all fellow Freemasons out there, I send fraternal greetings, and dedicate this poem to you.

by Brother Rob Morris Poet Laureate of Freemasonry

(This poem, written in August, 1854, is the most popular Masonic Poem of all time.)

We meet upon the Level and we part upon the Square.
What words of precious meaning, those words Masonic are!
Come, let us contemplate them! They are worthy of a thought;
In the very walls of Masonry the sentiment is wrought.

We meet upon the Level, though from every station come,
The rich man from his palace and the poor man from his home;
For the rich must leave his wealth and state outside the Mason’s door,
And the poor man finds his best respect upon the Chequered Floor.

We act upon the Plumb – ’tis the orders of our Guide.
We walk upright in virtue’s way and lean to neither side;
The All-Seeing Eye that reads our hearts doth bear us witness true
That we still try to honor God and give each man his due.

We part upon the Square, for the world must have its due;
We mingle with the multitude, a faithful band and true.
But the influence of our gatherings in memory is green,
And we long upon the Level to renew the happy scene.

There’s a world where all are equal – we are hurrying toward it fast,
We shall meet upon the Level there when the gates of Death are past;
We shall stand before the Orient, and our Master will be there
To try the blocks we offer with His own unerring Square.

We shall meet upon the Level there, but never thence depart.
There’s a Mansion – ’tis all ready for each trusting, faithful heart.
There’s a Mansion, and a welcome, and a multitude is there
Who have met upon the Level and been tried upon the Square.

Let us meet upon the Level, then while laboring patient here;
Let us meet and let us labor, though the labor be severe;
Already in the Western sky the signs bid us prepare
To gather up our Working Tools and part upon the Square.

Hands round, ye faithful Brotherhood, the bright fraternal Chain.
We part upon the Square below to meet in Heaven again!
What words of precious meaning, those words Masonic are —
We meet upon the Level and we part upon the square

So Mote it be.

Resourceful one!

Posted: June 23, 2010 in Family

“Daddy, I want a biscuit…NO, ill get it myself” says my resourceful little 3 year old

hmmm, what do we have here?SUCCESS!!!!!!

Car seat?

Posted: June 22, 2010 in medical
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Over the past few blogs, I have highlighted the need for car seats and seat belts, specifically for what WILL happen if you dont secure your children.

Then you get the other side of the story, the happy side…

Picture this… you are driving home from the shops, a young mother, with your baby boy of 10 months in your car. You consider yourself a responsible person, and seeing as you love your child so much you, despite all the screams and ranting on the odd occasion, secure your precious bundle in a car seat. You stop at a robot, and the person behind you, not concentrating, crashes into the back of your car.

You were wearing your seat belt too. Your car, completely wrecked… YOU? not injured… your little miracle? not injured

To you “mom”, I salute you!

I wish you could…

Posted: June 21, 2010 in medical
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– I wish you could read my mind as I respond to an EMS call “ what is wrong with the patient? Is it minor or life threatening? Is the caller really in distress or is he waiting for us with a gun?

-I wish you could be in the emergency room as the doctor pronounces dead the beautiful little five year old girl that I have been trying to save the last 30 minutes, who will never go on her first date or say the words, “ I love you mommy “ again

– I wish you could comprehend a wife’s horror at 3AM as I check her husband of 40 years for a pulse and find none. I start CPR anyway, hoping against hope to bring him back, knowing its too late but wanting the family to know that everything possible was done.

– I wish you could read my thoughts as I extricate a teenage girl from the mangled remains of her car. “ what if this were my sister, wife, girlfriend or friend? What will her parents reaction going to be when they open the door to find a policeman, HAT IN HAND?”

-I wish you could understand what it feels like to have a little boy tugging on your arm and asking, “ is my mommy OK?” not even be able to look in his eyes without tears falling from your own and not knowing what to say.

Or trying to hold back a father who watches his young son having rescue breathing done on him as they take him to the ambulance. You know all along he was not wearing the seat belt- sensations I have become all to familiar with.

– I wish you could know the frustration I feel behind the wheel of my car, foot pressed hard on the peddle, my fist pounding again and again on the siren as you fail to yield right of way at the intersection or in traffic. When you need us, however, your first comment upon our arrival will be “ you took forever to get here!!!”

– I wish you could know how it feels to walk in the back door and greet my family, not having the heart to tell them that I nearly didn’t come home from my last call.

– I wish you could feel my hurt as people verbally and physically abuse us or belittle what we do, or they express the attitude of “ it will never happen to me!”

– I wish you could realize the physical, emotional and mental drain of missed meals and lost sleep

– I wish you could see the all tragedies my eyes have viewed

– I wish you could know the brotherhood and self-satisfaction of saving a life, of being there in a time of crisis, or creating order out of chaos.

– unless you have lived this kind of life, you will never truly understand or appreciate who I am, what we are, or what our job really means to us.


… I am privileged to be able to fly as crew on my off days on board the ER24/Discovery Medical Helicopter.

As with all emergency helicopters worldwide, we tend to fly out to the very serious cases, to stabilize and transport rapidly critically injured  patients that will benefit from the helicopter, as apposed to transporting by road ambulance. This would be the cases that need definitive surgical intervention ASAP, and in many cases, that facility is a long way away, so the time factor in transporting by road exceeds by air.

Yesterday I was on duty on Chopper 1, a Bell Longranger based at Lanseria Airport, in Randburg, Johannesburg. (sorry, I keep forgetting to take my camera with, so no photo’s at present, however you can view the heli at!/ER24Medicopter)

We were called out to a young girl, 11 years old that was knocked over by a car travelling at high speed. She was allegedly crossing the road to go to the shops, and did not see the speeding vehicle. She was struck on her left side, and sustained severe injuries to that side of her body. Head injury with associated bleed, collapsed lung, and such bad leg fractures that she might lose her leg.

Now, sadly, while this is something I see on a daily bases, seeing a child in this condition really hits home. This young lady hasn’t even reached puberty yet, and, IF she survives, and IF she doesn’t have brain damage, and IF her lung can be repaired, and IF she keeps the leg, she might not ever walk properly on two legs again. Now, she was sedated and being ventilated on scene, so she probably will never remember what she had just gone through, but the impact on her and her family, both long term emotionally and physically, is extreme and i wonder if the general population ever thinks about that when they climb in their cars and set off about their business. Whether or not the pedestrian should be in the road or not is an ongoing argument that I have all the time, with both myself and others, the fact still remains that statistically more pedestrians get hit on our road daily than any other accident category combined.  So lets all keep alert. and drive safely or maybe it will be us that puts another child in ICU.

Its always the same. “It won’t happen to me” or my favourite”I drive carefully”.

On Saturday night, a 70 year old lady drove home from a friends house, figuring that its just 2km away, and the seat belt is so uncomfortable, that she wouldn’t put it on, after all, “it happens to other people”.
As The traffic light showed a green flashing arrow, she proceeded to turn, the vehicle coming from the other side, just too fast to stop, accelerated, trying to beat the light. She was T-Boned on the passenger side, her vehicle spun and crashed through the traffic light and eventually came to a stop. Losing consciousness, with her head through the windscreen, sticking out in the cold air, precious blood poring out.
She now lies in ICU…
Sunday night, husband and wife are driving home on the highway after a nice day with their family. A pedestrian runs out in front of the vehicle, who could not stop in time. He hits the pedestrian at high speed, sending him scattered all over the freeway. He manages to stop without crashing further, glass all over him, and turns to his wife. She tries to look at him, unable to move as her seatbelt has tensioned, holding her into her seat. ( he thinks, thank god she was wearing her seatbelt) The roof has collapsed on top of her. She is hurt, but alive.
His 3 month old baby girl, however, was seated on her lap. (NOT IN THE CAR SEAT WHERE SHE SHOULD HAVE BEEN)
The impact broke the a-post, smashing into this lovely girl’s head, as she was flung out of mom’s arms…
She also now lies in ICU, with 4 separate skull fractures and a very serious intra-cerebral bleed.
The feeling I get when I deal with cases like this is overwhelming. All I want to do scream and shout at these completely irresponsible parents. “Parents“, let me rephrase, These people don’t deserve children, they don’t deserve to have the privilege of being called a parent.
Please tell everyone you know…
Because, i’m the one who has to tell you that you killed your child.