When I was a yoof, I used to hang about with a group of lads who’d shout ‘pigs’ whenever the police drove past. I didn’t approve. I prefer to say ‘5-0!’ like they do in the Wire. But not in a disrespectful way, because I bloody love the police. Just in a kind of Baltimore kidz on the street, rollin with my homies kind of way. I’m cool like that. I also say ‘Omar comin!’ and I hope you do too.
But yes, the police. The ambo’s. I love them all. We go about our daily life not needing their assistance. And then crash, bang, wallop – something goes wrong and there they are, ready to see you through your emergency.
The NHS gets slated by baying media mobs on a daily basis, but where are all the songs of praise? I’ve got one right here, with a chorus for Wiltshire Police:
A month ago, my dad and brother were in a car accident. Time has passed so I’m able to look back fondly at some moments of laughter. It would be a great shame not to report on how hilarious my dad was after his brain injury. While Dad was being amusing, docs and nurses at Great Western Hospital, Swindon, were checking his vitals and police were sorting out the crime scene. Plus, I blog about everything.
It all started with Dad driving my brother to the airport.
The day could and should have gone unnoticed, just another manic Monday. Brother should have flown. Father should have come home. But sometimes there’s a glitch in the Matrix.
I won’t bore you with the details – in short, someone went into the back of Dad’s stationary car at a police-estimated 55mph. Without braking.
My brother is a badass Tai Chi master and his martial prowess gave him the power, ability and agility to brace upon impact. He rose from the wreckage like the superhero I always knew he was. He picked the cars up and moved them to the side of the road with his bare hands then flew off in his cape and pants to save a baby from a burning building. Probably.
Dad didn’t fare so well. Second only to my bro in the superhero stakes, he’s not supposed to be in a neck brace, on a stretcher, bleeding, semi-conscious. That’s not how this is supposed to go.
At hospital it was declared my brother had survived impact pretty much unscathed. He keeps wondering why he didn’t incur more injuries. I keep telling him it’s because he’s a ninja warrior. My brother, my hero.
We went to resus to visit Dad. (I’m not the only one to shorten words. Resus = resuscitation room. Seriously, it’s what they had on the door sign. High five, docs.)
Dad was concussed and had internal bleeding on his brain, making absolutely no sense whatsoever.
It was extraordinary. He didn’t remember the crash and was unable to retain any new information, but kept banging on with the same set of questions. Where were they going? Was anyone hurt? Why had they crashed?
Within one minute and seven seconds (we timed it) we were back to question one. Where were they going? Was anyone hurt? He even repeated the same jokes.
As the doctor explained why concussion was causing Dad to repeat himself on loop, Dad piped up with: ‘I’m absolutely fine – ask me a complicated mathematical problem.’
As the doctor explained Dad would need to be kept in for a few days observation, Dad quipped: ‘Oh. But have you got a table tennis table?’ While in a neck brace, strapped to the bed, bleeding from the brain.
He proceeded to flirt with three nurses and I knew at least one part of his brain was intact.
The human brain is a marvellous thing. It is so complicated and wonderful and extraordinary, and just one big bang away from dewiring. As I watched him trying to make sense of it all, I could see his brain desperately battling ‘buffering beach ball’ syndrome.
Dad’s home from hospital now and doing well. So I think I’m not too insensitive to say – check out our new wheels!
Thanks for writing off my old car, Pops. I’ve never been given a certificate for buying a car before. They all but tied a balloon to the bumper.
Thank you to the 5-0, the ambo’s, hospital staff and everyone who helped bring the boys home safe and sound-ish.
You guys are the real superheros.