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The lady who fainted at the shopping mall

Posted by Didi Gorman on

It was just another visit to the shopping mall. Nothing remarkable.

I was queueing for checkout when an ambulance suddenly pulled outside, and three paramedics walked into the mall, carrying a stretcher.

What in the world was that?

They headed towards one of the benches where a couple of elderly ladies were sitting. Apparently, one of them was not feeling well and almost passed out.

From where I was standing I couldn’t tell exactly what they were doing or what they were saying, but they helped her onto the stretcher and chatted to her.

There was not much staring by passers-by, thank goodness. I think we all understood the importance of the lady’s privacy. Fainting in the middle of the mall is bad enough, there was no need to embarrass her further by gawking. A few bystanders did offer a hand, but the medics took care of it all.

Whatever it was, the paramedics were very calm and composed, and the lady was smiling at them. This I could see clearly. Perhaps their sheer presence was a welcome relief. She was in good hands.

A few minutes later they took her to the ambulance, accompanied by one of her friends, and drove off.

I found myself thinking about that lady long afterwards. Who was she? What was it that ailed her? Did she find the air in the mall too stuffy? I could easily see how a closed space could make someone uncomfortable.

I also thought about the concerned looks on her friends’ faces; the one who went looking for help, the one who now accompanied her to the hospital. They too had to cut their shopping trip short to be by her side.

The whole scene was surreal. Imagine, going Christmas shopping and ending up at the hospital! Makes me uneasy just thinking about it. I was grateful it didn’t happen to me or to any of my relatives.

So there, a rather peculiar story today, about a very odd trip to the mall and a complete stranger, whose path had crossed mine for just a few seconds in the oddest of circumstances, and to whom I now wish a speedy recovery, good health, and truly happy holidays.

By Didi Gorman