Note from a volunteer helping with bed access | May 9, 2021

We would like to share a particular person’s journey, spread over the past few days and how it has connected people. It is amazing how people, all of whom are strangers to each other, have come together, worked together, across country and state borders, across organisational borders, leaned on each other, gave each other strength and have supported each other.

Bangalore has many people who are alone, with no immediate family members close by. This story is about one such lady, a 75+ senior citizen (SC). Niece & nephew are the main caretakers, and live out of state.

SC falls ill and is unable to fend for herself. Neighbours get in touch with niece, who along with her brother arrange for testing. SC is COVID+. Nephew, an employee of Cisco, taps into the work volunteer team, who help arrange for a nurse and oxygen support.

SC’s condition deteriorates yesterday. Due to age and low O2 levels, finding a bed becomes an impossible task. Miraculously, niece finds a lead to admit her to a hospital. But now the challenge is to get her to a hospital. Cisco team reaches out to Whitefield Rising members who then makes a connect to Mercy Mission ambulance service at around 9:30pm.

The ambulance drivers take SC & nurse (who also tested positive) to the hospital but are unable to admit her as relatives are not physically present to fill the forms. What to do, cannot take her back as she will surely not survive without medical assistance.

Ambulance drivers refuse to give up. They encourage the niece to find a relative to come and sign the papers, assuring her that the SC will be taken care of in the interim.

Luckily the niece is able to find a relative, who agrees to come to the hospital to sign the admission form. Final admission happens at 1:55am.

SC is still critical, in the care of doctors and fighting for survival and we pray for her recovery.

We salute the family who kept trying despite being remote, the neighbours who were concerned and kept watch and reached out, the Cisco volunteer team who refused to give up, the relative who came to the hospital late at night, the nurse who took care of her, Whitefield Rising for connecting, and the Mercy Mission ambulance drivers who refused to give up on her and the hospital staff who are taking care of her now.

This is just one story among thousands of others that are playing out in our country today.

It is not our religion or language or location that binds us together, but our empathy to each other as human beings that binds us together and gives us the strength to survive.