Thursday, September 28, 2006

Chinese whispers

When asked for information on how to contact someone else’s next-of-kin, you always tend to assume the worst. It's much worse than getting an unexpected telephone calls very late at night.

Having been unsuccessful at trying to contact JP’s partner, J, Mike rang me on Tuesday, asking if I knew how to contact people close to JP as he’d been asked for the information by their office in Hangzhou. All that they could tell him was that JP had been knocked over by a trolley-bus.

I provided him with another number for J and numbers of some of JP’s friends but was left with a sinking feeling about what could have happened to him. Mike duly contacted the various friends leaving them with the same message about the accident and the need to contact next-of-kin.

As the hours passed by, Mike managed to get more information by contacting a colleague in the Hangzhou office, a personal friend of his and JP’s. Apparently medical information was being sought by doctors prior to operating on JP. Still not good news but things appeared slightly better than the conclusions being jumped to as a result of the first communication. By the time I met Mike for a drink that night, he’d heard more – an operation would probably not be necessary but JP remained in intensive care. Each time he’d heard more news, Mike had had to contact all the friends whom he’d initially contacted to set their minds at ease about JP’s condition.

We were out for a drink to celebrate Alan’s 30th birthday but the events in China cast a bit of a pall over the event. Alan was toasted several times and while I don’t remember if we toasted JP and wished him a speedy recovery or not, we definitely did so in our heads.

It appears that JP is doing alright even if it may take a few weeks before he regains full alertness. No operation is necessary. He drifts in and out of consciousness and gets grumpy when he tries to move and finds that he can’t. His partner, J is now with him, and has commented that the grumpiness might be due to his not having had alcohol in a couple of days!

Had he not been in China, he’d definitely have been out with us on Tuesday – not having had alcohol for a few days would not have been an option.

JP, get better quickly and we'll be seeing you in the pub soon.


Blogger Dawn said...

It's horrible being away from people when all you want to do is be right there for him. Best wishes for a speedy and full recovery. Cheers!

1:48 pm  
Blogger Alan said...

We did toast him during the evening. I felt quiet bad trying to celebrate my birthday on the event of such an accident, but I am sure that he would have wanted us to drink and be happy. Cant wait for him to come home and regale us with the dramatic events. All the best JP.

3:17 pm  
Blogger Rob7534 said...

I hope your friend gets better! What a nice close-knit little community you guys have... very sweet. Very touching!

7:56 am  

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