I am a ballet instructor and last week, I hurt my ankle after landing badly from a brisé (that’s a jump in which the dancer sweeps one leg into the air to the side while jumping off the other, brings both legs together in the air and beats them before landing).

I heard multiple cracks and I found myself on the floor. That was when I knew I was in trouble.

The next day, my left ankle started to swell and the only place I could go for an X-ray was the Accident & Emergency (A&E) department of a hospital.

With my ankle swollen to the size of a golf ball, my sister volunteered to accompany me on the trip. Both of us weren’t in the best of moods – I was in pain and I couldn’t put any weight on my left foot. She was stressed because she had an important meeting that afternoon to prepare for but had to accompany me to the doctor.

What brightened our day however, were the kind people we met along the way.

An unexpected kind gesture

“What happened to you?” asked the concerned Grab driver after he realised that I had limped my way into his car.

“Oh, she sprained her ankle,” my sister replied hastily as I wasn’t in the mood to talk.

Hearing this, the driver immediately adjusted the front passenger seat so as to give us more leg space.

“It’s ok, there’s a lot of space behind,” said my sister and me in unison but his thoughtfulness warmed our hearts and lifted a bit of the gloom.

The journey to the hospital wasn’t a smooth one though as the driver, who seemed to be a novice, took the wrong route twice and even had to make a detour.

I didn’t really care because I was tired and in pain. But in my lethargy, I overheard his conversation with his wife when she called during our trip. It turned out that he was already running late to pick her and their children up. It suddenly dawned on me that he was still calm and attentive to our needs even though he was in a hurry.

Good service should not be taken for granted

Within a minute of alighting at the entrance of the A&E department at Gleneagles Hospital, we were attended to by a masked hospital staff member who so nicely offered to get us a wheelchair even before we started walking to the counter for registration.

Not only was I being cared for as a patient, the hospital staff also were nice to instruct my sister on where to go and what to do as we moved from point to point – from registration to seeing the doctor to the X-ray waiting area, the X-ray room, back to consult the doctor and finally payment.

Though the clinic was full and we were separated a few times since she couldn’t accompany me into the X-ray theatre, my sister was always politely and patiently attended to while she was waiting for me.

It might be easy to think that good service should be expected from a private hospital like Gleneagles but I choose to think that no matter where you go, good service should not be taken for granted, especially when these frontline workers are working tirelessly during this Covid-19 period to ensure the well-being of the patients.

Kindness till the very end

It was raining heavily when we left the hospital and we are grateful to meet with yet another kind Grab driver on our way back home.

When we asked to be dropped off at the shelter of our lift landing, the kind driver exclaimed: “Aiyoh, why is this drop-off point not completely sheltered? You will still get wet.” He went on to remind us to be careful and take our time to alight from his car.

“Yes but we are fine Uncle, thank you!” I said, as I left the cab, limping but with a full heart.

We were in need, and it is heartening to be able to experience firsthand the many considerate acts of kindness that made my situation a little easier to deal with.

My day, which did not start out well, took a turn for the better, and this has reminded me to be grateful to acts of unexpected kindness.

To all the kind strangers who helped us, and our Grab drivers Dhanavelu Thangadurai and Too Joon Heng, thank you!

Chee Wen Ting

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