I could tell by her face that she was very distressed. 'Mars Lim, is something
wrong ?' I asked as I glanced at the wall clock. It was almost 1 a.m. Mrs Lim
was one of my neighbors who lived down the street with her old,
invalid husband. My instincts told me that
Mrs Lim needed help.
'It 's my husband. I think he's having a heart attack.
Can you help me ?' she blurted out, in between sobs. With lightning speed, I
changed my clothes. Then, I followed Mrs Lim to her house. The whole house was a
little musty. As this was my first visit to
the Lims' residence, I had a quick glance around the living room. There were
wall panels covered with watercolor landscapes, engravings and cross-stitch
pieces. Along the corridor leading to the kitchen was Mr Lim, slumped in an
armchair. He appeared to be gasping for breath. With Mrs Lim's help, I managed
to carry him to the porch where their car was parked. when we finally managed to
get him inside the car, I drove to the hospital.
We rushed him to the emergency and casualty ward. The doctor on duty informed
us that Mr Lim had suffered a mild stroke. Mr Lim was admitted tot eh intensive
care unit. Mrs Lim and I kept an all-night vigil. It was then that Mrs Lim asked
me to contact her son and convey the news. I never knew that Mr and Mrs Lim had
children. All this while, I thought that the Lims had no children. I could not
recall a time when they ever mentioned a son. I tried to contact the son at the
given address, but I was told that he had moved to another town with his wife
and children I could see the pain in Mrs Lim's face as I told her the news.
As I was driving home, I told myself that I would call my own parents. I had
not contacted them for almost a month and my conscience haunted me. They had
looked after me for a good part of their lives. I was sobbing terribly all the
way home, ashamed of my neglect.
Mr Lim was discharged after ten days. He made a speedy recovery. Apart from
his slurred speech, he appeared hale and hearty
a month after the incident.
The incident has helped me to get my priorities right. It has also made me
realize that when we give a helping hand to those who need our assistance, the
world will be a better place to live in.