On the 9:19 I saw someone die in front of me

What a poor start to the day it was on Friday 9th December 2005. I boarded my train to head to the office. I moved towards my seat ready to take my coat off. Then suddenly behind me, I and the rest of the passengers heard a loud clunk. A man had fallen down and hit is head. He lay on the floor shaking with blood starting to ooz from his head. He looked like he was approximately sixty years old. The train guard emerged from his cabin in shock and quickly got onto the internal phone to ensure that the driver would not shut the doors and move on. He also called for an ambulance (that in the end took 15minutes to arrive). We saw the man’s face turn read and as blood continue to seep from his skull, a few of us, a girl and two plain cloths police men (they told us at the end of the unfortunate episode), a Doctor lay the gentleman into the recovery position.

Things got worse. The bravery of the girl was outstanding as she ran to the side of the fallen gentleman and tried to raise his head. Blood then smothered her hand. She was wearing a sky white woollen coat staining it was the last thing on her mind, her focus along with the others was to help. The police searched the man’s trousers for any sign identity, for example a wallet or medical card. An identity chain/ bracelet was also not located. There was a thought at one time that he maybe epileptic but no information was found to lead anyone to this conclusion. The gentleman continue to shake and would occasionally let out a burst of blood and air from his mouth. His head was kept by the girl and I raised slightly. For a moment I wondered how much people knew about first aid.

The guard then reappeared with a full size first aid kit that appeared to have never been opened before. The situation then worsened. Although the fallen man’s jumper, shirt and tie was loosened he was gurgling and his face turned purple. He occasionally made a groaning noise and gasped for air. After five minutes it appeared that his pulse stopped together with visible signs of not breathing.. Collectively he was pulled into the resuscitation position and given CPR. He didn’t make it…

As he lay there motionless, somebody placed a newspaper over his face, although one could argue there was nothing else available.

Passengers were asked to leave, the train was going no where for a while. The only thing that had gone anywhere was the dead man’s soul. I hope to a place of peace.

Imagine, he had got ready to go the office/wherever in the morning and knew nothing of his fate or as one of the policemen put it, ‘when your time is up, it is up’. During the day the event started to sink in. Life is precious and in our day to day interaction with its bustle we can forget that it can be over in an instance. We may occasionally remember the importance of life but this thought has the potential to be superseded / clouded by distractions of materialism and selfish actions.

When you get this close to seeing a death it makes you wonder that all you take with you is what you did in life. One of my favourite films is Phenomenon. The movie is atmospheric but more importantly at the end of the movie John Travolta suggests that after he has eaten an apple he will take the energy with him when he dies. What this implies to me is life experiences, knowledge gained and the good that you do enhances your soul – it is these items that will travel with you.

It is not too late to do good and be good.

Categories: 2005

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