View Full Version : I'm so upset! I wanted to help - and caused nothing but trouble!

07-24-2012, 03:29 PM
Here's the story, I'll try to make it short: Friday night, I was talking to a friend on the phone; she lives 500 kilometers away. Suddenly there was silence in the line. I asked a few times if she was still there, but no response. Assuming that our phone line was just interrupted (which sometimes happens when we talk), I hung up and tried to call her back, which is our usual procedure in such cases. But the line was still busy. I tried calling several times, surprised that she didn't try to call me back, but everytime I tried to reach her, I got a busy line, so it was obvious she didn't hang up her phone. Getting worried, I tried calling her cell phone instead. No one picked up. After 15 or 20 minutes, I got really worried. Knowing she had suffered from a so-called TIA in 2009 (transient ischaemic attack, some people call it a mini-stroke), I really feared something had happened, as people with a TIA in their medical history have a higher risk to get a "real" stroke. And I had no idea if her 14 year old son was at home as he sometimes stays with a friend over night.

To make it short, I called the cops in her district town, telling them I was worried and asked them to send a patrol car to find out if she's okay. The cop on the phone told me to do so; and I was here at home, turning more and more into a nervous wreck because I was really worried. About half an hour later, my friend called. Huge relief to hear her voice, but then I learned that they sent not only the police, but also an ambulance, an ER doctor, and the fire brigade. Obviously, the cops arrived first, but when no one opened the door when they rang, they called all the others. The fire fighters eventually broke open her door - just to find her sleeping. She woke up when all these people entered her apartment. Go figure! She simply fell asleep while we talked (geez, I must be a boring person to talk to! lol ;) ), and - as it turned out - she cannot hear the door bell in her bedroom) but she was alright. That's the good part of it.

The bad part, however, is that she got a bill about 500 € today (that's about 600 $US), not only for the broken lock, but also for the fire brigade, as it's been a false alarm. I'm feeling sooo very bad for causing her so much trouble, but everyone's telling me I did right and had no other choice in that case, especially with her medical background. But I think it's horrible that she hasn't done anything - except falling to sleep - and now has to pay such a horrendous bill! I offered her to pay a part of it, and she declined, but some of her friends obviously expect me to pay. I would gladly pay this bill if I wasn't living in poverty already, and I still have a vet bill to pay... I really feel horrible for all this! :( My friend is going to raise an objection, and I hope she'll succeed with that. I'm really feeling awful, and I don't know what I will do the next time I fear someone could be in trouble. Do nothing and risking a person's life?

07-24-2012, 03:44 PM
Don't feel bad you did the right thing. I don't know how things work there but here she wouldn't be responsible for the bill, she didn't call for help. I would think she could fight that, she never requested assistance. Once you called it was up to the police what to do.

07-24-2012, 03:47 PM
Don't feel bad you did the right thing. I don't know how things work there but here she wouldn't be responsible for the bill, she didn't call for help. I would think she could fight that, she never requested assistance. Once you called it was up to the police what to do.

Well, yes, I was thinking it was the same here, and some people told me it would be like that, but obviously they were wrong. I think they blame her for not opening door, but she simply didn't hear it!! I think it's so ridiculous!! :mad:

07-24-2012, 05:53 PM
I would protest, and write letters, and get local officials - and especially the media- involved. I am sure any reasonable person would have done what you did! Maybe they can get her some sort of device to help her, to boost the doorbell, etc., given her medical condition!

07-24-2012, 07:28 PM
Kirsten don't feel bad about what you did--- the same thing happened to me a few yrs back. I was chatting on the phone with a good friend when she heard a loud noise and then I went silent but she could hear me breathing pretty loud. After not getting a response from me she dialed an ambulance and then called my husband's work. Lucky for me she did that, I had fallen asleep but fell with the phone under me, which is why she could hear breathing. I've had narcolepsy plus a few other problems for ages but never told anyone about it. Had she not cared enough to worry and call for help I would have gotten in worse trouble yet. After being pulled through the whole thing I made sure she and a few others that were close to me knew about some of the problems that I could encounter.
If I was her I would fight that bill though--- over here nothing like that would ever happen. I find that so strange.

Scooter's Mom
07-24-2012, 11:47 PM
I think you're such a caring friend! You absolutely did the right thing!

07-25-2012, 04:28 AM
Karen, yes, I was already thinking about getting the media involved because I think it's scandalous that she's has to pay this bill. No one will care for anyone else anymore if it ruins you financially! :mad:

Asiel, yes, that sounds like a similar situation and I'm glad you got help! I think the difference is that my friend was fine - just asleep - when they opened the door. If there was an emergency case, her health insurance would have been in charge.

Scooter's Mom, thank you. Everyone's telling me I did the right thing, but now I caused her so many problems. I'm really upset!

07-25-2012, 06:59 AM
You did the right thing, and in no way should you feel bad about it. You'd certainly feel worse if it had been a true emergency and you chose to do nothing. :(

07-25-2012, 07:18 AM
I echo EVERYTHING said here! I hope MY friends do what you did if they can't get ahold of me. That is my biggest fear, dying (God forbid!) alone!!

If I were your friend, I'd fight it.

07-25-2012, 07:48 AM
Kirsten, you did the proper thing, and I'm glad you did, too.

Back 10 years ago, when I was still in the apartment and my Dad had moved in with me, he was talking on the phone to my brother. I had gone to lie down, and fell asleep. Dad had a low blood sugar reaction and stopped talking to my brother. Bro called the local police, they sent an ambulance. I woke up to the doorbell. As I wandered down my hallway to the kitchen to release the door, the banging started at my apartment door (another tenant let them in the building). Now I could see Dad, and could see he was in distress. I opened the door, ready to tell the person to call 911 while I helped Dad and . . . there was the help we needed!

Around here, we've had many false alarms, seems to be a teen thing to do this summer. :rolleyes: Many areas are starting to bill the parents for the costs. One kid phoned in saying he was out in the bay in a canoe and had dropped his paddle, couldn't get back, then shut off his phone. Coast Guard searched for 2 hours while police worked to backtrack the phone - to a private home! :eek:

I think the bill is automatic in your situation and the appeal process is in place to make corrections.

smokey the elder
07-25-2012, 10:13 AM
This sounds like you acted in good faith. I don't think your friend or you should be charged anything.

07-25-2012, 10:53 AM
Thank you very much for your support everyone! I guess a part of me knows I was doing the right thing, but after this, I'm not sure if I would do the same again in a similar situation. :(

Freedom, I'm glad your dad got help when it was needed. As for false alarms or fake calls, they'll charge those here who made the call. Only a few weeks ago, some teenagers called the police, claiming that a man got hurt by a wild boar in the forest, so they sent out teams with dogs and everything to search for the injured person. In the end it turned out there was no injured person, someone had called the police just for fun. In cases like this, I think it's absolutely okay if that caller has to pay the bill!

07-25-2012, 11:03 AM
Thank you very much for your support everyone! I guess a part of me knows I was doing the right thing, but after this, I'm not sure if I would do the same again in a similar situation. :(

Yes you would - because you are a caring and compassionate person! :)

07-25-2012, 11:09 AM
Yes you would - because you are a caring and compassionate person! :)

Well, yes... guess you're right. :o

07-25-2012, 01:39 PM
Kirsten, you did absolutely the right thing. Depending on what had happened, your action could have made the difference of life or death for your friend.

God bless you.

:love::love::love::love::love::love::love::love::l ove:

07-25-2012, 02:04 PM
Here's a thought.

Had you done nothing and something had happened to your friend?

Sometimes the right thing has the wrong consequences, but it's far and away better than not doing anything and having to live with that in your heart?:eek:

07-25-2012, 05:35 PM
Yes, what Richard said!

07-26-2012, 12:58 PM
I sure would love to have you as my friend and have you be so concerned. Bless you for helping - as Richard said - you just never know - so you did the right thing! Do not think twice about this.

07-26-2012, 01:06 PM
If anything?

There will be a day, after all the angst and thinking about what happened has disappeared, when it will be brought up in the conversation like this.....

"Remember when the police had to kick the door in?"

You may get a little embarrassed, flustered and then laugh about it.

(For the next bit of time, when someone knocks on YOUR door, You'll jump up to answer it.;))

07-26-2012, 03:16 PM
you did the right thing no maters what.... strange she fell asleep without hanging up the phone or end the conversation on the phone.. anyway .. i would be happy when a friend did it for me... i am a heartpatient .. got a heartattack in november last year...
Strane she had to pay that bill .. somthing could be very wrong here so they only did their job .. here in my country it would be free...

07-26-2012, 07:07 PM
oh kirsten honey you absolutely did what you thought was best, and what a true friend you are indeed, she is lucky to have you, i do understand how you would feel though as i would be the same, i hope your friend wins over this, not fair for her to have to pay such a large amount of money, i was wondering could your friend not get some kind of medical alarm,a lot of elderly people wear them, my next door neighbour who is 89 has just purchased one, after a very bad fall in her home, we persuaded her to get it and it gives everyone peace of mind, they do cost, but well worth it, especially if your life is at risk, and you did mention her medical condition, anyhow just a thought and HUGS to you.:)

07-27-2012, 12:55 PM
You have nothing to regret, Kirsten. You had no way of knowing what was going on at the time and you did the right thing. Fortunately, your friend was okay but this could have had a tragic end had you not called. You are a very loyal, caring friend :love:

07-28-2012, 04:45 AM
Thank you so much for your support! I called my insurance to ask if they may cover the costs my call has caused, but they said they would only have paid if any damage was caused by negligence on my part, and that wasn't the case.

I really felt I had no other choice that night; I mean, I could never have gone to bed and do nothing. I'm glad my friend understands that, she said she would have done the same.

Richard; yes, hope you're right and we'll be laughing about it in a few years. :)

Carole, she's a nurse and I'm sure she considered that option after her TIA in 2009. But these days, she doesn't seem to be too worried about the fact that she fell asleep; she said she was just tired. Personally, I'm not so sure about that, at least I know it could never happen to me, unless something's wrong, healthwise...