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I keep catching myself wondering whether I'm living in a dream - with life imitating art - just like a scene out of a movie.  But today turned into a nightmare when I received the phone call which every parent dreads: "Your daughter has been in a car accident."

My heart began racing and tears welled in my eyes as I listened to her father reassure me that they were okay.  Even hearing Satine's voice on the phone wasn't enough to put my mind at ease - I had to get to her.

Grant told me to wait.  The police were on their way.  So too was a tow truck as his car was a complete write off.  He attempted to reassure me that Satine was being well looked after by a woman who lives right where the accident occurred.  WHAT?!?  "You've just been in an accident and you've sent our child into the house of a perfect stranger - in South Auckland of all places??"  Not his proudest parenting moments.  But I guess the man wasn't thinking straight.

So I sat by the phone and waited.

I was unsuccessful in contacting the special man in my life and my besties were unavailable.  I was all alone.

So I sat by the phone and waited.

Eventually Grant phoned back and (reluctantly) accepted my offer to pick them up.

Although the adrenalin had kicked in, panic soon followed as I tried to get my head around driving to South Auckland.  But the primal need to be with my child far out-weighed any phobia I was harbouring and thanks to the navigational assistance of my former husband via speaker phone, I was able to make my way to them.

Whilst I was relieved to see that Grant was okay, it wasn't until I saw and held Satine that I started to relax.  It felt like time stopped and then all I wanted to do was whisk her away to the safety of familiar surroundings.

So we thanked the strangers for their kindness and Satine decided to give the gift intended for her friend (who's party she was on the way to when the accident occurred) to the little girl she had been playing with.

Then just as we started to relax, the next level of drama began to unfold...

We had barely made our way back onto the motorway heading towards town when Grant says: "I think the reality of what happened has just hit me... and now I'm feeling some pain in my chest... I need some air..."  He then lifted his shirt to take a look at his chest - which was grazed - and announced: "I'm going to faint."

Within seconds he passed out.  His eyes rolled to the back of his head and his mouth fell open.  He breathing sounded strained - as if he was choking on a constricted airway.  I tried rousing him whilst scanning for the nearest motorway exit.  He then started convulsing and (unintentionally) hitting me.  This caused me to swerve into the next lane but fortunately, traffic wasn't heavy and I avoided any collisions.  So with one hand trying to pin Grant's arms down, I managed to get us off the motorway.  I had no idea where in the hell we were and panic set in once again.

Then I saw the fear on Satine's face and I immediately snapped back into control.

Grant was slowly regaining consciousness but very disorientated asking: "Where are we?  What happened??  I'm okay.  I'm okay.  What happened?"  I spotted a petrol station, pulled in, and lay Grant in recovery position.  I was utterly disappointed that the two 'attendants' watched me from within the building and neither bothered to offer me assistants.  Hardly the 'service' which is advertised by Z stations.  But even if this isn't one of the stations offer 'service', whatever happened to humanity?

So I entered the shop and asked one of the attendants to phone for an ambulance.  He looks at the phone in my hand - querying why I wasn't phoning myself.  I explained to him that I hadn't a clue as to where we are and that whilst he explains our location to the 111 operator I could be attending to the patient.  Which I then proceeded to do.

Fortunately, I had a blanket in the car to keep him warm whilst we waited for the ambulance to arrive.  Another customer came over to us to see if we were okay.  Sometime later the attendant came over to tell us that the ambulance was on their way but offered no further assistance and simply walked away.

Having checked his vitals and hearing the description of what had happened, the ambulance guys decided it was best to take Grant to Auckland Hospital and offered Satine a ride in the ambulance whilst I followed (not too closely) behind.

I guess we must have arrived before the Saturday night rush as Grant was admitted into the emergency department and seen by a triage nurse almost immediately.  Within a few hours, he had undergone a variety of tests to check his heart and to rule out any neurological issues and was discharged soon after being given the all-clear by one of the doctors.

Whilst the car may have suffered irreparable damage, both Satine and her father walked away relatively unharmed.  Grant is a bit battered physically and somewhat shaken emotionally, but Satine appears to be perfectly fine.  She tells me that she wasn't scared at any point and regales me with the events in a very matter of fact manner.  From sitting in the car feeling bored; to her father saying "shit" as he hit the breaks; the bang; the car stopping; the air bags inflating; and the smell of petrol that made her decide to jump out of the car.  "I knew from watching Shortland Street that after a car accident if you smell petrol you need to get away from the car as it is likely to explode."  [See, there is some merit in tweens watching Shorty Street!]

Okay, so I'm no model parent either.


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