I will stop and help if needed. (5/8/2023)

Every now and then you will see someone on the side of the road who seems to have some kind of trouble. It could be just a flat tire or maybe being out of gas.

Many people, if not most, will not pay attention to the person in need and won’t stop and offer help. The motive for that is a familiar one: It is risky because it may be a trap.

That is true of course, some people have been robbed, physically attacked, and even killed on such an occasion.

I stop when I can, despite the risk, and see if I can help. Not only  do I think that helping someone in need is the right thing to do but I also had my experience of being on the other side.

Many years ago, I was out and about doing some sightseeing and photography. I walked down a slight incline toward the road when I tripped. In my fall I already knew something was terribly wrong, I felt my right ankle snapping.

I landed right on the side of the road, just a few feet from the pavement, with my ankle at an odd angle.

It happened before the age of cell phones and the only thing I could do was to flag down someone who could find a phone and call  for an ambulance.

There was little traffic in the area but there were some cars going by. I waved and gestured for help, some drivers looked at me and just kept going.

Then two guys on bicycles came around the corner. I though they would stop for sure but they didn’t. They looked at me, passed me within just a few feet and kept going while talking to each other, probably about me.

There was a school on the other side of the road, a few hundred feet from where I was. Kids were playing and a few teachers were there as well.

I yelled for help, they responded slowly by looking in my direction, even pointing at me. And no one came over to see what the problem was.

Never before in my life had I felt so helpless.

Finally, after about 30 minutes, an elderly couple on foot stopped and asked what I needed. They promised to call for medical assistance and at a slow pace they disappeared around the bend.

Soon after they showed up in their own car offering to take me to the hospital. It was well intended, but not a good idea.

I needed professional help and they drove off, looking for a phone.

About 15 minutes later the ambulance arrived and the first thing  the paramedics asked was whether I had insurance or not.

Luckily, I had insurance and I asked them what they what do if I had not. Just leave me here. They didn’t answer.

Finally,  after 45 minutes on the side of the road, I was on my way to the hospital.

Since then, I stop when I see someone who may need help because I know what it is like to be ignored.




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