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February 22, 2017 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily

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Wednesday, Februray 22, 2017 // The Statement


Personal Statement:
To the ER and Beyond


never expected to spend the morning of Jan. 24 in
the emergency room. I didn’t think I’d be hooked
up to an IV when I should have been sitting in my

“Origins of Nazism” lecture at 11:30.

Somehow, on that Tuesday I found myself in a bed in

the emergency room at the University Hospital, wear-
ing a typical gown and enjoying some vanilla yogurt and
apple juice. As soon as I regained consciousness, I could
only think of one question: Who was she?

I don’t really know how I passed out that morning.

I didn’t sleep the night before — only about five-and-
a-half hours because of my heavy homework load and
conversations with my hallmates. I also neglected to eat
breakfast. I walked through the snow to Chem 1800 and
sat in the back for another Psych 112 lecture — a class
that, even on a good day, I struggle to remain focused. At
a certain point, I began to feel dehydrated and left to fill
my water bottle.

The next thing I know, I’m lying on a hard tile floor

with a girl crouched next to me reassuring me and
attempting to ease the bleeding. I couldn’t really see
what was happening and thought I had a concussion.
I was frightened, tired and hungry. I didn’t know how
hard I hit my head and if my fall caused damage. Would
I need stitches? Did I have a concussion? Any permanent

damage? (For those wondering: yes, no and no thank

Through all of my shock and nervousness, she spoke

to me while her friend assured the paramedics were
en route from the hospital. That ride didn’t go so well
either. I begged for water while the paramedics in the
back of the ambulance told me no each time, increasing
my stress from zero to one hundred. I really just want-
ed a cup of apple juice or a bowl of cereal. Eventually, I
arrived at the hospital. The nurses and doctor did some
preliminary tests and then allowed me to take a two-
hour siesta. Finally, I received my cup of apple juice and
called my parents to tell them what happened.

After my nap, I (obviously) checked my phone. Still,

I kept wondering who it was that helped me, something
I slowly began to realize would be nearly impossible to
figure out. There are 28,000 undergrads at the Universi-
ty of Michigan. How could I possibly find the one person
who happened to be in the Chem Building at 9:30 and
helped the guy who passed out?

You might be wondering why I was obsessed with find-

ing the girl who helped me. I began the search because,
without this person, I don’t know what would’ve hap-
pened. She knew immediately to grab a paper towel to
stop the blood oozing from my head. So, yeah, it was a big
deal to find out who may have just saved my life.

A few days went

by, and even though
I expressed some

finding who saved

became more spec-
ulative. What if I
found this person
— not really think-
ing it was possible.
I didn’t know what
method to pursue

began to feel more
and more like an
unsolved mystery.


prodding from my
physician uncle to
really seek out the
girl. We spoke on
the phone at length

and he urged me
to find who saved

me. The next day,

I called the Division of Public Safety and Security, but,
because I called after hours, the records department
employees had already left for the weekend. My search
would have to wait until Monday.

After class on Monday, I called again and spoke to a

woman from the records department. I told her about my
“quest” to find who helped me and, to my surprise, she
was interested in helping, which made me optimistic. At
least I wasn’t too crazy, I thought.

I gave her my incident number and learned the details

of the people present at the scene. Unfortunately, she
only had Officer Kevin Rice’s name, not the name of the
person who first spotted me (big shoutout to Officer
Rice). It appeared I hit a dead end. But, I was undeterred.

And as I sat in the library a few hours later, I estab-

lished my next step: I would post in the University of
Michigan class of 2019 Facebook group. I’ll look like an
idiot, but I thought that maybe I’ll gain some closure. I
wrote in the group (YOLO, right?):

Complete Longshot but I believe in miracles: Last

Tuesday morning I passed out in the Chemistry build-
ing and two girls came over right away and helped me
ease my injuries and called the ER. I’m really grateful
and it’d be great to send you a thank you note/get you a
Starbucks. From what I remember, one girl was named
Allie (sp.?) and you were selling food for a student orga-
nization. If you know this person/are this person please
let me know. Thank you.

Sure enough, about an hour later, I saw someone com-

mented on my post, tagging her friend. Her friend then
messaged me and I learned that, yes, she had indeed
been the girl who saw me fall in the Chem Building.

As you could probably expect, I was in shock. My per-

sistence paid off. A few weeks later, we met at Starbucks
in the Union and rehashed. She told me it wasn’t the first
time she’d helped someone who passed out, so she knew
exactly what to do. I would no longer wonder, “What if,”
about the incident. I learned all I needed to about my
frightening morning.

Nearly a month later, it’s still puzzling to think I spent

a day in the emergency room. It’s just as incredible that a
far-fetched, seemingly improbable request in a Facebook
post — in a group of more than 17,000 people — some-
how reached the right person. The experience taught me
a great deal.

I’ve learned to be mindful of my surroundings, to

always look to see if I can be of assistance. I’ve learned
that sometimes, even the craziest ideas can work. Final-
ly, and perhaps most importantly, I’ve learned to eat
breakfast and get a good night’s sleep.

I don’t want to end up in the ER again.

by Avi Sholkoff, Daily Sports Writer


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