One day, a few days after I started my internship at the Queen Mary Hospital in Hong Kong, I was doing morning rounds on my ward. In those days, it was common to have 20 beds or so per ward, and overflow patients had to sleep on cots. Some cots were even in open air balconies adjoining the ward rooms.
Suddenly one of my patients, who had a brain tumor, got up from his cot and walked briskly towards the balcony. I thought that was strange and instantly tensed up. Indeed, he went straight to the railing and started to climb over the railing.
I dashed immediately toward him, shouting, “What are you doing? What are you doing? Sure enough, he acted like he was ready to jump, so I gripped both his forearms. He was a heavier person than I was, and I sensed that this was not going to end well. I pleaded with him, “Don’t jump, Don’t jump!” (“Mm ho tieu, Mm ho tieu!” However, he ignored me and quickly stepped out into the air, with his final words to me, “I’m leaving.” (“Ngor tsau la”)
我马上冲过去，大声喊到: “你要干什么?你要干什么?” 不出我所预料，他真的淮备要跳下去，我立刻紧紧抓住他的两只胳膊。我意识到，他比我要重的多，这样下去后果不堪设想。 我开始恳求他: “不要跳，不要跳。” 然而，他没有理会我，只听到他最后说了一句 “我走了”，就翻过栏杆。
So there I was, hanging on to both his forearms while he was dangling in the air, his only connection with life being my grip. Soon I could see the hospital gown sleeves on his forearms beginning to slip and my hold clearly slipping. By this time, a crowd was gathering at the ground level, 5 stories below. They were all watching us in horror, while I was watching the face of this man in horror, with the blur of the crowd as background. I prayed a silent prayer, not really knowing what else to do, except hanging on.
Suddenly a nursing “sister” (in the British system, head nurses are called “sisters”)with a better size than mine, ran over. She grabbed one of the man’s forearms, and I shifted my whole effort to the other forearm. She yelled, “Pull, pull, pull!” and for some Herculean reason, we dragged him up while he was hanging in mid-air.
突然，ー个比我カ气大的护士长跑了过来。她抓住了病人的ー只前臂，于是我用尽全力去拉他的另ー只前臂。她大声喊到 “用力拉，用力拉，用カ拉”，不知 道从哪里来那么大的カ气，我们竟然把他从半空中拉了上来。
Fortunately, he did not really fight back. A few more people by now had overcome their shock and rushed to the scene. We were able then to jerk his whole body up and over the railings, and onto the balcony, where he was suitably subdued and taken to . . . I don’t really remember where.
All I could think of was, “What happened?” I sat down dazed, a brand new intern at his first major test. Staring at death in the face.
Author’s note to you: while life and death are often out of our control, our eternal destiny depends on our choice. A great place to start is to consider Giver of life.