To lighten the mood I’d joked that I’d blog about it but in a mock-serious manner, making it worse than it actually was.
But the truth was it was nonetheless one of the scariest moments in my life.
Here is a dramatic recount:
7:19 am. Carmaine has embarked onto the 3rd carriage of one of Connex’s oldest models of trains at Syndal station. She rejected the offer for a seat and stood by herself to the side. Her back was facing the rest of the group.
7: 19 am – 7:45 am. Onboard the train. The train ride passes as per usual, with light hearted conversation being thrown around. Other passengers of the morning train embarked upon the locomotive, partially blocking Carmaine from the rest of the group.
7:42 am. Passing Kooyong station. Carmaine has remained noticeably quiet throughout the train ride. Sudden thump sounded. At first it was mistaken that the train, in its age, had a mechanical problem. But as I turned around to look, I noticed that Carmaine was no longer visible.
7:43 am. Stood up briskly, shouting, “Carmaine!” Rest of the group noticed that something had gone awry. Pushed aside man partially blocking Carmaine. Carmaine was on floor, having collapsed. Her eyes were closed and her face pale. Asked someone to press the emergency button only to find none on board. Dialled 911. Yes. In my state of utter shock I’d dialled the American emergency number. Fortunately it reconnected to 000.
7:44 am. Train arrived at Heyington Station. Was on phone with Ambulance. She asked for the nearest suburb. Wasn’t sure, so said, “Heyington Station on the Glen Waverley line! St Kevin’s College!” Woman repeatedly told me to calm down and tell her the nearest suburb. Disembarked train, helped Carmaine to nearest bench. Caitlin was on phone with Ambulance, having more success than I. The train driver, being notified by a kind lady who had ran from 3rd carriage to inform him, made sure all was under control, and promptly left.
7:45 am. Called Carmaine’s mother, received no answer.
7:46 am. Called Carmaine’s dad. Explained situation to him. Carmaine was feeling better and color had returned to her cheeks.
7:48 am. The next train arrived on platform. We had been standing around trying to keep ourselves warm and make small talk. I was not cold, I was running on adrenaline.
7:49 am. Embarked upon the crowded carriage, and asked that Carmaine have a seat as she had been ill. A kind woman and man gave up their seats and Annie sat with Carmaine, who was still rather weak.
8:10 am. Arrived at Melbourne Central station, where we disembarked so to allow Carmaine to sit down and eat. Sat down at food court. Got Carmaine cinnamon pretzels and the others had McDonalds.
8:12 am. Made numerous phone calls to the school to ensure their awareness of our circumstances. Joked lightheartedly – away from the phone – that Carmaine had given us all an excuse to skip Period 1 and have McDonalds for breakfast.
8:40am. Having spent enough time at Melbourne Central, departed to take tram to school.
9:00 am. Arrival at school. Promptly took Carmaine to Sick Bay. The lady behind the desk looked at Carmaine meaningfully and said, ‘I’ve been talking to your mom.”
9:01 am. Bid farewell to Carmaine, and proceeded to do the necessary paperwork. I.e. Seeing Mr Rus-, filling out late book etc.
9:05 am. Put bag back in locker. Walked Carmaine to her next class, which she insisted on attending.
All times were rough estimations.
The preceding story was based on a true story.
P.S. Take care of yourself, Carmaine.