When the ambulance finally reached the hospital, I was rolled with a wheelchair to the emergency section. During admission, a lady at the registration asked some questions.
Having answered her questions, she then looked at me and said, “This hospital only accepts burn patients who are burnt 35% and below. Yours looks like 50% and above. I am sorry, we can’t accept you here”.
Surprised by her statement, I asked, “Then where should I go?”
She replied, “You can ask the ambulance to bring you to any hospital that you want. You can go to Lam Wah Ee Hospital or elsewhere”.
Despite the pain and shock, I was lucky that I still had some clarity of mind.
“If Penang General Hospital, the biggest hospital in Penang doesn’t want to accept me, which other private hospital would accept me?”, I asked her.
“I still want to be admitted here”, I insisted. Somehow, I instinctively felt that time would be of the essence and that I needed to be admitted as soon as possible.
After my insistence, the lady finally relented and requested that I signed a few documents before admission.
As they brought me to the normal ward, a doctor attended to me. After he left, I remembered suddenly feeling very tired and closed my eyes as soon as I touched the bed. Then I blank out.
A familiar female voice called my name. Am I dreaming? Opening my eyes, I saw my friend Lay Choo standing at my bedside. The clock behind her showed nearly 7 a.m. I had passed out for nearly 4 hours. How did she find out that I was admitted?
“Your sister called me and send me over to see whether you are alright”, Lay Choo explained to me.
For a few seconds, I was confused, my sister was vacationing in Vietnam, I didn’t contact her when the accident happened. Lay Choo informed me that my neighbour’s daughter contacted my sister. At least my sister has been informed, I thought to myself. Having Lay Choo’s presence was reassuring.
Half an hour later, I was pushed into the operating theatre. There were a few doctors around introducing themselves to me. At that time, I didn’t know that they were from the plastic team. The plastic doctors look concerned and told me that I will be given morphine after the first operation and would not be conscious for a few months.
“Why so long?” I asked.
“Because you would be in a lot of pain”, answered a bespectacled middle-aged male doctor.
Realising the seriousness of my condition, I signed whatever documents they needed and asked them to proceed. Trying to reassure myself, I kept telling myself that I would be alright. As anaesthetic was being administered, I prayed and everything went dark.
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