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The story you are about to read is both heart breaking and heart warming. One of the caring members of our community got a call to deal with a very unusual situation, below he tells us in his own words.
“I was called out by Maenam police at around 2pm a couple of days ago, to ‘talk with a German woman’. I didn’t get much detail, just that there was a German woman staying in a resort, and that she ‘had to leave’. The only thing that confused me was the fact that the resort name they gave me was of a resort that closed down quite some time ago… and that nobody was there… or had been there for quite some time.
When I got to the front gate of the resort it was well overgrown… grass and trees had taken over, and there wasn’t even a path through the place that I could see. The bungalows were falling apart… literally. Roofs broken… walls rotten and crumbling etc. They were a clear danger… rotted stairs, balconies and so on. I had to push my way through overgrown bush to get anywhere. In the end I had to holler out to the police so that I could figure out where they were, and which direction to go.
Eventually I got to a bungalow, and saw the police standing on what was left of a balcony. They quite literally had to pull me up to where they were, as the steps had rotted away.
They explained that inside the bungalow was a German lady, and that could I please explain to her that she couldn’t stay… which was pretty obvious given the state of the place. Apparently she had been there around 3 weeks already.
I walked into the main room and there, tucked away in a corner, was the lady in question. She was (I was told) 57 years old, and she couldn’t have weighed more that 30 lbs. She was obviously very, very ill. She was lying on a reed mat, with a few bottles of water and packs of crisps nearby.
She could speak almost perfect English, and was obviously a well-educated intelligent woman… this is what she told me…
She first came to Samui 11 years ago, and stayed in this particular resort. She had wonderful memories of her time there.
She had been diagnosed with terminal cancer some time ago, and, as her health quickly started to deteriorate, she decided that she wanted to spend the short time she had left here on our island… she wanted to die here. She didn’t want any fuss, didn’t want to bother anyone.
When she arrived 3 weeks ago she could just about walk… not far… but far enough to get to the bungalow she stayed in 11 years ago. It must have a major struggle for her to actually get up the broken stairs to the bungalow’s main room. It didn’t bother her that the place was now derelict, in fact she thought that it was better this way… she just wanted to be left alone to die in the peace and quiet of a place that had good memories for her.
She realised that once she made it into the bungalow, that this was ‘it’. She wasn’t going to leave it… didn’t want to leave it.
A local Thai woman saw her arrive and disappear into all the trees and brush, and, with some concern, later went looking for, and eventually found her in the derelict bungalow… basically lying down and waiting to die. They talked for a while, and the young Thai woman took it upon herself to make sure that there was water and essentials available for her, and came to visit her regularly with more water and snacks. The German lady (Christine) had stopped taking her meds a long time ago… there was no point she told me.
But someone had called the police, probably more out of concern for her than anything else, and now the land owner was also aware of Christine’s presence. Christine kept on telling me that she just wanted to be left alone in peace for the short time she had left, and pleaded with me to tell the police this… which I did. But, of course, it was an impossible situation for them… they had to do something… they couldn’t just leave her there.
It was decided that Samui Rescue should be called, and – despite Christine’s wishes – she began to realise that this was not going to be possible. She had no money (had given it all away), and no passport (thrown away), and only a small bag of belongings.
She was taken to the government hospital in Nathon, where she was immediately put on a saline drip… however, she has now signed forms that state she has waived any medication or treatments. She is so unhappy at the thought of spending her remaining days in hospital, but appreciates that this is the only option now left to her.
She didn’t expect this, and – after giving everything away, she doesn’t even have the money to pay for her basic care at the hospital.
We know nothing about this lady except her name – Christine. She ‘doesn’t want to make a fuss’ and is mortified at the attention she has been getting. She has said that she has no family… whether this is true or not doesn’t really matter… she has her own reasons for wanting to ‘go out’ this way, and doesn’t talk of her past life at all.
I have sat with her at the hospital a couple of times… in between nodding off, she smiles a lot, holds my hand, and thanks everyone for trying to help her… even though she would rather not have it, she understands the concern that people have for her… she is just glad that at least she is going to die on the island she loves.
I asked her that – if we could get some financial help for her – would she prefer to stay in a private room… they are not that expensive (the government hospital costs are very reasonable compared to the private hospitals here on Samui)… she flatly refused that, considering a waste of money. She was more than content to stay in the public ward, despite the hustle and bustle there.
She doesn’t want or need much, and is embarrassed by the fact that she has no means to pay the hospital for her care.
She knows that she doesn’t have long… whether this is a few days, or a few weeks, nobody knows.”
If anybody would like to contribute to this ladies hospital bills or has any suggestions as to how we can make her final days more comfortable then please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org