SIR – With reference to the Emergency 999 article on your newspaper dated Saturday, October 21st, 2017, this is my story when I had to use the service recently:
On Friday, September 15th, after school one evening, I was at my grandmother’s home in Schull. My mother was in Cork on business all that day and my grandmother, Lilabeth, as I call her, collected me from school in Skibbereen.
It was a dry evening and I was playing in the garden while Lilabeth was cutting the grass. I was playing with my dog Lucy and I was making a jump for her. I was happy and having fun, then suddenly I was on the grass screaming in pain.
I realised I had dislocated my knee, I could not move. The pain was terrible, It was the worst pain I had ever experienced in my life. I screamed for help to Lilabeth and she came running to me.
She got her phone and rang the Mizen Medical Practice for help. There was no reply. She then phoned South Doc, in a panic, but it was 30 mins too early. I was still on the grass in pain and we decided to phone 999.
We got a rapid response. A lady replied and Lilabeth asked for an ambulance, as soon as possible. The ambulance service asked if it was a genuine call and Lilabeth confirmed what had happened to me. I could be heard screaming in pain. The ambulance was on its way to me as soon as possible.
The ambulance arrived after an hour and there were two medical men helping me, Garry Minihane and a man named Finbarr. They were very nice and they kept me calm and reassured me. I felt so much more at ease when they arrived.
Garry, especially, has a wonderful way of providing care. They put me on a stretcher and did some medical checks. I was given gas and air to help with the pain in the ambulance.
Then, the laughing started, as I was acting very silly. I sang the National Anthem in Irish and I was laughing a lot.
The journey took me to Bantry Hospital where I was immediately taken into the local injury unit. There a very nice doctor named Dr Jeff pushed in my patella immediately and the pain was gone. I had x-rays and other tests, before a cast was put on my knee.
The knee is now healing slowly. I have much exercise and physiotherapy to do, but I am very grateful to the 999 emergency team and the ambulance team. I am so thankful to Garry, Finbarr and Dr Jeff for their help that evening. I totally recommend anyone in difficult situations to call 999, as I did that evening.
Thank you to my wonderful grandmother as well.
The Emergency Team 999 saved my life, many thanks.
aged 11 years,