Extreme ups and downs.

Warning: This post is upsetting and about a friend involved in a bad accident, I’m telling you because I know some people (like my mum) don’t like hearing about bad things happening to good people.

The company I work for hold quarterly socials and charity events. On Friday there was a charity football tournament which was so fun to watch and last night there there was a free alcohol and food at a local bar. It was a great evening with the staff from all the schools over the city. We drank, we ate, we danced. This morning we awoke, had pancakes for breakfast and went for the most incredible hot stone 2 hour massages.

However after this the day got much, much sadder. We received news that our friend had been in a terrible accident the night before. He had been with his girlfriend when two men on motorbikes had stolen her bag, he chased them on his motorbike and cornered them at a dead end. He got off his bike and took after one of the men on foot, however the man still on his bike accelerated and ran him over and then attacked him. All for a handbag. My friend was alone at this point with no phone and the attackers drove off and left him. Somehow he got himself back onto his bike and drove back to his girlfriend who took him to hospital in a taxi (with no NHS there’s no easy emergency number to ring for an ambulance). When they got to the hospital they refused to treat him until a mountain of paper work was filled out proving that he could pay for the treatment. His injuries are horrific, his knees are broken, as is his jaw, his cheek bones shattered, his eyes are black, swollen and half closed and his nose is broken. Essentially his face became concave. Somehow he had managed to drive back though, in his words ‘I knew no one would find me, I either lay there and died or I went for help’. Where he found this strength I do not know.

We went to visit him this evening and it was a shocking sight. I barely recognised him. He’d had 8 hours of emergency reconstructive surgery but it was extremely upsetting and difficult to not show in our faces how disturbed we were. He had just spent a month cycling from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh for charity (over 1000 miles) and had just got back, so I tried to ask him all about that to keep the conversation positive. To top it off, his hospital bills to date are $8000, about £5000 at least. Hopefully the medical insurance we get as part of our work healthcare should cover it, but we still don’t know.

I can’t convey how utterly disgusted and appalled I am at the people who did this. It doesn’t put me off living here, it could happen in any city. any country and violent crime in general is very rare here. It’s just upsetting that there are people who would do this in the world.

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