Charlotte and I were on the car recently and we had a call to go to an elderly lady believed collapsed behind locked doors. She had had a blood test a few days earlier and the pathologist (a doctor who specialises in the scientific study of the nature of disease and its causes and processes) was very concerned about the results because they were extremely abnormal.
The pathologist informed the GP practice who rang the lady to advise her that he was arranging an ambulance to come to her and bring her into hospital ASAP. When he got no answer he feared the worst and called for the ambulance service and police to go to her address, break down the door if needed, treat her and then bring her into hospital.
So we were all there – two police vehicles, an ambulance crew and Charlotte and I in the car – it must have appeared as if there was a major incident going on in Croydon at the time! We got no answer from persistently knocking and ringing at the door. A neighbour approached us and insisted that we must have the wrong address because the lady was seen to be alive and well only an hour before. After lots of phone calls and a fair bit of detective work we established a mobile phone number for the patient. I spoke to her on the phone and told her the situation.
Very calmly the lady told me that she felt perfectly well; despite her advancing years she had walked the two miles to the pub and was quite happily watching the football – until I had disturbed her. She politely added that she would prefer it if we would all leave her in peace to continue to do so!
Well, we did as requested! Obviously we ensured that she would speak to her GP and make arrangements to be admitted to hospital first thing the following morning – but I was in admiration, I can only hope that I have some of her spirit and determination when I am in my eighties!!!