Angels abound

Emile Shreve, Somerset West

My husband shot himself three weeks ago.

In my wildest dreams I could never have imagined anything so disastrous.

The dull thump of shock almost paralysed me and for minutes I stood, mind blank. I had to phone someone.

Mechanically I lifted the telephone receiver and there, the familiar yet disregarded Helderberg Crime Watch (HCW) sticker I had placed on the handset years before. I dialed the emergency number at HCW .

One short phone call. Within minutes an Emergency Medical Services ambulance was outside. Two medics set to work with speedy efficiency, stabilised and readied my husband for transportation to hospital.

Another ambulance, armed response and several police arrived. Gun residue tests were carried out; weapons and gun license confiscated; statements were taken; dog handlers were called in to sniff out the bullet and casing, all under the calm and watchful eye of Warrant Officer Hannes Niemand of the SA Police Services.

I became part of the process of the daily routine of people who serve as our wonderful support community.

From then on like ripples on a pond I was connected to others. Therapist Nicolene from the Oncology unit at Vergelegen; Dr Andre de Waal, maxillo-facial surgeon who performed miracles during many hours of surgery, their kindly staff. To all these sweet beings of the Helderberg medical teams, my grateful thanks.

This as a result of one phone call. If you are not a member of the Helderberg Crime Watch, do join.

It could change your disaster from bad to bearable.