Sunday, October 01, 2006

Hardest Post Ever...

It is very easy ranting on about various aspects of one's life but, as I've mentioned before, with a single blog that's read by family, friends, colleagues, people interested in China and people not interested in China, it's hard to work out where the line should be. I've contemplated splitting off into different blogs for different audiences and this is a perfect example of where an entirely anonymous blog where you can just scream into the aether would be lovely.

This last week has been incredibly tough on a wide variety of people who are colleagues, friends and family of JP. The sentiments of both Troubled Diva and Reluctant Nomad on this issue will give you a good idea what I'm talking about.

Our mutual friend, JP, was hit by a bus at 8pm on Tuesday outside my company's offices in Hangzhou. Since then those of us in China with JP have been going through the panic of being with him through tests, doctors conferences and staying with him 24 hours a day in intensive care. In many ways that was probably easier than the suffering of his close friends and family in the UK who will have first heard that JP had been knocked over by a bus and then been in an information vacuum waiting for the start of the next UK day to get more information.

Since then there have been highs and lows. The worry of tests, of potentially having to break bad news to loved ones and family, of being the closest thing to family he has on this side of the planet.

It was a relief for us when JP's partner, J, arrived so that at least he had some family here in China. It's hard to imagine what J was going through both with JP being incapacitated, but also in coming to China and having to deal with us.

Think about it for a second - JP had probably spent 6 months in China over the last 3 years and JP is such a fun, gregarious, friendly kind of chap that he has lots of friends here. Over the course of the first 12 hours this situation we'd organised shifts of people to spend time with JP, translate for the medical team and to communicate with the insurance company in the UK, doctors in Beijing and family back in the UK. For J to have to come into 'our' family, where he doesn't know anyone must be really rough. I can only hope we did our best to welcome him into our family at this time.

No sooner had J arrived that we got word of the doctors that work for the insurance company that they intended to airlift JP to Hong Kong to get a world-class standard of care. Of course, it's the right thing to do but a further worry for us that J was then being moved to a location where we weren't able to support him as we had been doing here. I was much relieved when D volunteered to go to Hong Kong to support him.

The last prognosis I had from a doctor was 'optimistic' so I can only hope and, from afar now, that JP proceeds with a speedy recovery. He hasn't had to have surgery which must be a good thing and I truly believe that he's now in the best place to help him recover.

I'm sure JP will be disappointed for missing the opportunity to share Hangzhou with J when he's feeling more like himself, but hopefully he will be amused by the factually challenged article from the local newspaper which doesn't exactly show him from his best side. At least he'll like the fact they say he's 29 years old...

Good luck with your recovery, JP. We're all thinking of you.


basil said...

all of our thoughts are with JP. speedy recovery mate. think we were all waiting for someone to post something. they'll be a deluge now!!
btw dB - last link doesn't work

mike said...

dB, I just want to say a massive and heartfelt public thank you for everything you've done for JP in the past few days, and for the regular phone and e-mail updates which I've been passing on to the folks back home. JP couldn't have wished for a more caring and supportive team of colleagues and friends, and all of us over here are very grateful to all of you over there.

Reluctant Nomad said...

You certainly have been a good friend to JP - he's lucky to have had you there and we're lucky to have been updated by you as to his progress.

Let's hope he is better soon so tha we can all benefit from his optimism and jokes.

dB said...

There have been about 20 people involved in the round-the-clock care and they all deserve an equal share of any thanks.

I've known JP for longer than most people in the China office but there was no shortage of people coming forward to volunteer for every aspect of care that was required. And we all know well that if anything happened to one of us, JP would have been at the centre of any attempts to help.

Last link fixed now. Mike has a full list of the inaccuracies in the article.

Alan said...

I echo what Reluctant Nomad had to say. Thanks for looking after him and give him all our best and keep us updated.