A Woman Collapses on the Sidewalk. What Do You Do?

You hear these stories, but I never thought I would see it in my own fair city.

Yesterday while driving southbound on Hennepin Avenue in Uptown, I saw a woman sprawled out on the sidewalk in front of the YWCA.  Two people stopped and looked at her, but kept walking; a young man on a bike at least swerved around her rather than ride over her.  But it didn’t look like anyone was stopping to help.

I found a place to park and ran back to her and by this time a pair of young women were coming from across the street.  Eventually a small crowd gathered, including some staff called from the Y.

But what the hell?!  What were the knobs who kept walking thinking?  Come on people…stop and see what is going on!  Not stopping is simply…wrong.  Idiots.

Now I might have self-preservation in mind as I have been known to fall over from time to time, but usually for reasons for which I have no one to blame other than myself.  (You know my fondness for Brunello.)  I remain hopeful that should I fall to the ground in a busy urban area like Uptown Minneapolis, someone might at least stop to see I am a still alive.  Wouldn’t you?

The woman who fell over, by the way, seemed to slowly come back from her black out.  She looked fine, but was a little incoherent.  She didn’t seem to have the flush sick look of heat stroke, she had her eyes open, and could follow motions, but wouldn’t get up and didn’t really seem to be with it.  My thought was stroke.  A reasonable assessment or no? 

Eventually she sat up and responded more coherently to questions.  That’s when someone with first aid and water showed up from the gym.

At this point, of course, a crowd begins to form and the poor woman has help and probably needs privacy more than attention.  Someone had called an ambulance and soon there would be even more activity.  I choose to leave.

So here’s my take away.  First…be the good Samaritan and stop when you see people in trouble.  Second, if you’re uncomfortable doing so because you’re not sure what you would do — doing anything helpful is better than leaving someone for the vultures — learn some first aid.  The American Red Cross offers courses and you can even learn some basics online.   Or look here.  And doesn’t everyone have a cell phone today?

Do something good for someone.  You might need help for yourself someday.


2 thoughts on “A Woman Collapses on the Sidewalk. What Do You Do?

  1. andy1076

    The problem is, today’s society has two different types of selfish people. There’s the one kind that decides that if it doesn’t benefit them? they don’t want to help. The other person will see someone help and will help not out of good will, but simply to get recognition by others.

    Kudos on having the heart to help when so many fail, it’s good to know there are still good people in this sick and twisted world 🙂

  2. pauline kale

    Ok, I see that you are making a political analogy here, but what else is new? The economy collapses in a heap on the sidewalk and what do the politicians do? Yep, they just walk on by as if nothing happened. Or they make an empty symbolic gesture that does nothing to solve the problem. I think we have heard this viewpoint before.

    But I don’t mean to shoot the messenger, I like your canary in a coal mine perspective. Carry on…


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