About 20 years ago, I tried to save the life of a cat.
I was driving along the notoriously busy Stifford Road, in my hometown of Aveley, when the car in front of me hit a cat.
BANG, the cat was down & the car sped off.
“STOP THE CAR” I screamed at my boyfriend and as he swerved onto the kerb, I jumped out of the car and ran into the road.
I knew I had just moments to save the beautiful, black cat, lying in the road, shrieking in agony.
As I frantically waved my arms, standing in the middle of very busy, Friday night traffic, with my boyfriend screaming “GET OUT OF THE ROAD”, all I knew at that moment was that I had to stop the cars, get the cat out of the road and to a vet, to give it a chance to survive.
Then in one final moment, as I shouted “STOP” a sleek looking jag came screaming towards me. My boyfriend pulled me out of the way, the car drove straight over the cat and it was game over.
I was inconsolable.
As I sobbed into my boyfriends shoulder, him angry with me for being so reckless, he said one thing that now means everything,
“you tried babe”
I did try. He was right. As much as I regret not being able to save that cat, it does make me feel better that I did something. If I’d just driven past and not bothered, I think that would haunt me.
Would you have done what I did and jumped into the road to try and save the cat?
There are many stories of people putting themselves at risk to save others. Stories of instinct taking over when lives are at risk. Adults jumping into freezing cold rivers to save a drowning dog. Friends jumping into stormy seas to save a friend. Stories of heroics and people TRYING to do the right thing. Even if it doesn’t work, human nature is to help others in need and try, right?
Well, not always. Sadly, tragically, horrifically, not in the case of my baby boy.
Yesterday, we received a letter from the GMC.
They attached a letter from Mr X. The consultant who was supposed to have been looking after me and Elijah.
Firstly, he expresses his condolences and his understanding of what disappointment we must be feeling.
Yes, that’s right. Disappointment.
Yesterday morning, I told my very excited 3 year old that we would take the car through a car wash machine. We happily drove to the garage to find it not working and being repaired.
THAT was disappointing.
When I open the fridge to find the last Twix has been eaten by my husband
THAT is disappointing.
The death of my child….well, lets just say that “disappointing” doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel.
He then denies all knowledge of what happened on that day and lays the blame firmly on the shoulders of the midwives and the middle-grade doctors. He didn’t know I was in labour, he didn’t know I was bleeding. he thought my pregnancy was trouble free and so on and so forth.
Then, in his own words, at the moment Elijahs little heart couldn’t take any more and was taking its final beats, he describes being told by labour ward staff that we were in theatre, we were an emergency and to run.
So, at that moment, did he jump in like a man saving his drowning dog? Did he run to save Elijah, like I ran to save that cat?
He took a back lift, not the fast lift and went to change his clothes.
What a true, all male, all muscles, Last Action Hero he is.
It’s just not the done thing to be seen in blue scrubs when everyone around you is wearing red, darling. No, I’m not kidding. As my boy was dying, he was changing the colour of his scrubs.
So, I asked before and I’ll ask again, would you have tried to save the Stifford Road Cat?
I think you & I both know the answer to that.