Last week, we received a call from a citizen, Sandrine*, who was very worried about someone she had just met on her journey.
It was Mr. K., a patient we had been accompanying on the street for some time.
* Cover name
Sandrine was very concerned about Mr K., who was shaking and showing signs of having an epileptic seizure. He still had the presence of mind to ask her to contact Streetnurses which she did without hesitation. Unfortunately, caught up with other patients, our field team could not get there quickly.
Sandrine, aware of the seriousness of the situation, then took matters into her own hands and called the emergency services. She showed incredible patience as she had to face several refusals before an ambulance intervened.
Indeed, Mr is known in the emergency room because he has made several trips back and forth, often drunk which can lead to exhausting and demotivating for the teams on site. Fortunately, the municipality's prevention service, which had also, in the meantime, been called, assisted Sandrine in explaining and convincing the ambulance to come and pick up Mr.
Sandrine spent nearly two hours with him to support, listen and help him. She even took the time to contact us afterwards to explain the details of the situation
Citizens, who, like Sandrine, take the time to stop in front of homeless people, whether they are in distress or just want to be listened to, have an essential role to play. Indeed, providing support, comfort, can be quite essential in certain situations and also give us an additional help in taking care of our patients.
We would like to thank Sandrine and all the other people who, one day, dedicated a moment to support a person in the street.
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(*) We do our utmost to respect the privacy of our patients and our professional secrecy. However, we want to testify to how they must survive and how we are working together to reintegrate them. As a result, the names of places and people are deliberately omitted or changed and real-life situations are placed in a different context. There is no direct link between the photos and the stories above.