Pascal Derrien

5 years ago · 2 min. reading time · visibility 0 ·

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This first week end of October 2013 had started like any other Post Back to School Week End, the Seanad referendum results were not out just yet, the Irish Global Economic Forum was not particularly raising any expectations or debates except maybe some mention on its lack of gender inclusiveness, we were all about to enjoy a sunny week end after a very wet & rainy week.

As far I was concerned I was also very focused on my week end routine with the standard driving to the swimming pool with my Daughter Emily and the Tae Kwan Do training  for my son Alex on Friday evening ahead of a big competition for him on Sunday. Before Sunday he had a GAA match on Saturday morning , we were driving back and debriefing his performance on the pitch that morning he was giving yards about the performance of his own team's goal keeper this very morning, we had just passed a small bridge when my eyes got attracted by a distressed lady with a buggy waving at the cars passing by but more alarmingly I also saw a body lying on the ground.

I will make every effort not to mention the two cars ahead of me who initially seemed to make an attempt to stop but quickly pressed the accelerator to get away in a rather speedy fashion. Now it was not the time to speculate why they did this, I stopped and put the warning signs on and told my son to stay in the car and stay calm. Another pedestrian a passer-by was also at the scene but she was as distressed as the mother of one whose husband`s face was lying on the rather large puddle of blood. However she still managed to call an ambulance but in the panic she gave the wrong address insofar as the name of the road. Here I am next to the man on the ground I have no particular experience in first aid except that I have been myself the victim of a near fatal car crash 20 years ago.

Adrian is his name and is unconscious, I am not sure what is going on there initially, I thought he had a heart attack but he did not seem to display the symptoms of a heart failure, he somewhat slowly regained some consciousness but was so shocked he could not speak .

At that point his Eastern European partner got hysterical and she was understandably distressed when an off duty guard stopped and helped me calming her and comforting Adrian. The two of us managed to obtain some basic information about Adrian. We understood he had taken a large amount of paracetamol in the last few days due to a toothache, a few minutes or seconds later a Polish Tesco Home Delivery Driver stopped tool and under the instructions of the Off Duty guard Peter posted himself on top of the hill with a Hi Visibility vest waving at the drivers in order to make them understand they had to reduce their speed

While I kept preventing Adrian form losing consciousness by talking to him, I also had to stop him on his fourth attempt to stand up, at that point an Indian or Pakistani Doctor stopped quickly followed by an African nurse who provided the necessary medical expertise. I was extremely focused on the matter at hand but I think my brain wanted a break, I remember clearly thinking about the article I read earlier in the Irish Times about the fact that one third of the HSE consultants are foreign born and I thought that ironically even far right extremists would thank god they were here today !!!

I obviously quickly forgot about that anecdote when finally a paramedic on a bike swiftly stopped near the scene and asked me a few questions about the state of Adrian, this was part of the protocol as I had been one of the first to arrive at the scene. The fact that Adrian had lost consciousness was concerning, he did not know the day it was, but besides a large cut on his forehead and a lot of blood he was still not talking, his eyes were wide open and he was breathing normally, that was a great point in itself I suppose.

The Dublin paramedic advised me an Ambulance was on the way but had to be redirected due the mix up on directions being given originally, another off duty paramedic stopped and helped his on duty colleague with the bandage when the ambulance was finally on sight. The Oxygen & the injection given seemed to had done the trick at least for the time being as it helped Adrian to regain some composure. I started to feel more comfortable  and confident he was now in good hands.

While Adrian was embarked and taken away to Connolly Hospital in Blancharsdstown, myself, the Indian Doctor, the African nurse, the off duty Irish guard ,the Polish driver and the Paramedic biker alongside his off duty colleague were reassured  that Adrian would make it all right. We all agree that it was difficult to understand what had happened, we did not shake hands as most of us had blood on them but there was an acknowledgment of a moment of solidarity almost a moment of brotherhood.

I got back to the car , reassured my son that everything would be OK and drove home.

Later in the afternoon I must say I was a bit shaken by the whole thing and decided to go for a 10K run to clear my head. I obviously revisited the incident of the morning and could not help thinking that while it could have been worse and this was certainly a tragedy this traumatic incident was also a very rare moment of togetherness, a community of spirit , a solidarity of intent .

In those 20 minutes which to me felt like a century we were all in this together that morning, no questions asked where do you come from ? Wo are you? what are you doing?  We all responded to the normal call of human solidarity, the duty of care towards an individual that none of us knew, yet we collaborated with this instinct of emergency and imperceptible feeling of doing the right thing.

I am sure that incident affected all of us that week end in some shape or form, I don’t know about the others but I have certainly grown up and while I am pretty sure he would probably not see it like this Adrian did teach us something very valuable.

What is it I am unsure, but I woud like to think we owe Adrian this tangible reminder about true human values and togetherness where origins and colour have no importance as long as you bring value to life.

For that Adrian I would like to say



October 2013

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Pascal Derrien

5 years ago #9

I Dean Owen, think my son learned a lot from it too in a way, not that I wanted to expose him but I did have to blance the decision I had to stop thats what you do at least thats what I do.... :-)

Pascal Derrien

5 years ago #8

Indeed Don Kerr it probably worked because there was no vote involved in the process :-)

Pascal Derrien

5 years ago #7

thanks Donna-Luisa Eversley feeling v.s failing I like te metaphor :-)

don kerr

5 years ago #6

Now here's a story about a United Nations team that actually works! Well done Pascal Derrien

Dean Owen

5 years ago #5

Bravo to you for taking action. With a son in the car, many might not have. Total respect for those that do this day in and day out as their job.

Ken Boddie

5 years ago #4

There, but for the grace of whoever or whatever you may believe in, goes you or I. #4

Pascal Derrien

5 years ago #3

you reminded me of something with your comments on druggies and drunks i spent 8 years volunteering in homeless shelters both in france and ireland ; misery and hard luck seem pretty universal it does not define an individual in my book but like u said u need to take time to stop and reflect......

Ken Boddie

5 years ago #2

The problem with the human race is that we all think it is a race - to get there as fast as we can - self obsessed - head down, bum up - don't get in my way! Stop and help? God no! In our race against each other, we've forgotten to look after one another. After all, only drunks and druggies collapse in the street, yeah? Well, you proved us wrong, Pascal! Good onya, mate! 😇

Pascal Derrien

5 years ago #1

thanks Daniela Umpierrez for bringing a smile to this thread :-)

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