Saturday 31st March 2007.
I woke up at 6am in the morning to drive back from KL to Penang.
I was rushing back to make it for an afternoon meeting with the CEO of a listed company who happens to be in Penang.
In spite of being able to get his phone number through a contact, it took me three weeks of following up to finally get a meeting with this very busy man, so when he offered me an opportunity to meet him on a Saturday, I grabbed it.
I had my chance and I wasn't about to blow it.
By the time the hot afternoon sun hit Penang, I was already at home in the comforts of my room rehearsing whatever I had to say to the CEO.
Wen-Qi even came all over to my place that afternoon to give me some support before my meeting.
Before I knew it, evening came and it was time for me to leave home for the meeting.
Wen-Qi who came in her own car was the first to drive out in her Kelisa, followed by my father who also happened to be going out at the time.
I got into my car as I saw my father's car disappear in the distance and left home.
Just a little down the road from my place, I suddenly saw my father's car stopped by the side of the road.
As I whizzed by not suspecting anything, I caught my father jumping out of his car in a hurry and rushing to the opposite direction.
Wondering what was going on, I looked in my rear view mirror only to see Wen-Qi's Kelisa crashed into a retaining wall; a sight that I had completely missed as I drove past the first time.Pic: The actual wall that Wen-Qi ran into after they cleared the wreckage.
I screeched my car to a stop and rushed out towards the crashed Kelisa.
As the car drew nearer I found myself getting increasingly anxious.
The wreckage was much worse than it looked in the distance.
I reached the driver's door and looked in.
The door was smashed in just like the front of the car and there was shattered glass everywhere.
Wen-Qi was there sitting in the driver's seat dazed and covered with blood.
My heart dropped at the horrifying sight.
She was in pain with her bloody hands covering her eyes crying
"My head... it hurts... it hurts!!!"
I stood shocked for a few seconds, not knowing what to do but I came back to earth when I heard my father shout "GET HER OUT OF THE CAR!!!".
I unlocked the driver's door from the outside and tried to yank it open but the door wouldn't budge.
As I tugged on the driver's door, Wen-Qi was moaning in pain so I tried to comfort her.
"Don't worry don't worry... we're going to get you out of here".
Failing miserably to open the driver's door, I ran over to the front passenger's door and threw it open.
My dad crouched in, released her safety belt that had a layer of blood over it and pulled her out of the wreckage.
I carried Wen-Qi to my car and put her in the back seat wiping the blood off her with as much tissue as I could find in my car.
She had cuts and bruises all over her body but most of the blood was coming from a big cut in her forehead.
My dad gave her a huge stack of tissues and said "PUT PRESSURE ON YOUR WOUND!!!".
I jumped into the driver's seat and drove her off to the nearest hospital (which wasn't exactly a stone's throw away).
My dad led the way in his own car.
I was driving fast praying that there would be no traffic but I was too hopeful.
Traffic was heavy.
Every few seconds, my eyes darted back at Wen-Qi who was in my back seat to see how she was doing.
She was still dazed and kept saying
"What happened? Am I dreaming?... my head hurts so bad... I wanna wake up!!! Please wake me up".
She was bleeding everywhere, her top and skirt were soaked in blood.
It didn't help when she looked at the stack of tissues that she had earlier been using to cover the gash on her forehead.
It too was soaked in blood and the sight of it was a good enough reason for panic.
"OH MY GOD OH MY GOD.... I'M BLEEDING SO MUCH.. OH MY GOD OH MY GOD!!!".
I looked back and shouted
"DON'T WORRY!!! IT'S JUST A SMALL CUT... DON'T WORRY... YOU'RE FINE!!!".
I felt the guilt right after those words left my mouth.
I didn't know if it was a small cut or not, and it probably wasn't considering the amount of blood there was, but I knew that I had to calm her down though I doubt saying that helped much.
Her thoughts suddenly swinged a full 360 degrees and she said
"OMG!!! Your MEETING... you're going to be late for your meeting!!!".
I replied hastily
"That is the LAST THING I'm worried about right now... I HAVE to get you to a hospital first".
She managed to thank me somewhere in the midst of her pain, only to tell me a few minutes later
"I think I need to puke".
I looked back at her and saw the dreadful expression on her face as she tried to keep herself from puking.
I shouted yet again.
"LOOK... if you have to puke then PUKE here in the car!!! I am NOT stopping till we get to a hospital!".
Puke in the car she did.
She skillfully decorated my car with puke but it wasn't the typical puke you would see from a drunk man.
She was vomiting blood.
That was enough motivation for me.
I stepped on the gas and starting aggressively honking the slow cars ahead of me.
Finally we got to Gleneagles Hospital in Penang but our sense of relief was short-lived.
We got stuck at the entrance.
At Gleneagles whenever a car wants to get into the hospital grounds, it has to first take a parking ticket.
So as any pessimist would guess, when shit happens... it happens not just once or twice at a time, but all in one go.
The ticket machine wasn't working and the barrier wouldn't go up so both the cars my dad and I were driving were stuck outside the hospital.
We decided to leave our cars by the side of the road as my dad carried Wen-Qi into the emergency room.
I followed to help only to hear my dad say
"Go for your meeting!!!"
I resisted and replied
"How can I go when she's like this?"
But my dad was adamant
"What are you going to do? You've already taken her to the hospital, she's going into the Emergency Room, all you're going to do is WAIT... so JUST GO... I'm taking care of her... and call her parents!".
I stood there for a few seconds thinking about what my father said and decided to listen to him.
So I got into the car and rushed to the meeting place.
When I got there, I first rushed to the restroom to wash up.
The white shirt I was wearing was spattered with blood and as I rinsed my hands in the sink, the water turned red with Wen-Qi's blood.
I washed it all off and tried to calm myself down.
Then I walked confidently into the lounge where I was supposed to meet the CEO and waited.
He came not long after and we talked for more than an hour about Nuffnang (of course with me initially explaining the blood all over me and ensuring him that I didn't just kill someone who didn't like idea of Nuffnang blogs).
My mind was racing back and forth.
On one hand I was wondering what the hell I was doing here at the meeting when I should be with a friend who needs me now more than anything else.
But my Father's words came back to my head and I focused on the meeting.
Right after the meeting ended I rushed into the car and called my father to get an update on the situation.
They had moved from Gleneagles to Loh Guan Lye Hospital because Gleneagles didn't have a brain surgeon present at the time.
But alas some good news.
Wen-Qi had a scan at Loh Guan Lye and they didn't find any damage to the brain, just a hairline crack.
But the cut was very deep, so deep that you could even see her skull. The neurosurgeon at Loh Guan Lye advised us that since the patient is a 19-year old girl, we should instead take her to a plastic surgeon to stitch up her wound. At least the stitches might look better.
We found a plastic surgeon at Pantai Hospital all the way on the other side of the island and we made our way there.
This time with Wen-Qi's father driving the car and I sitting in the back seat with Wen-Qi, trying to make her smile in this difficult time. I succeeded in most instances.
When we reached Pantai Hospital, there were already people waiting to get Wen-Qi on to a wheelchair to wheel her straight into the Emergency Room.
I followed her in.
She was still suffering in pain, at one point even saying that her head was hurting so much she felt like ripping it off.
I took it as a joke.. but I wasn't so sure if she was really joking.
She went into surgery at 9.30PM and her parents told me to go home, saying that she probably wouldn't be awake until the next morning.
I went to see her the morning after. She was lying in bed with a huge bandage on her head.
She gave me a cheeky smile as I walked into her ward which indicated that she was feeling better.
Her pain had subsided and she was feeling a lot better, remembering a bit more of what really happened.
I took of a picture of her in bed and asked
"Your Dad last night asked me if I'm gonna blog about this. Should I?"
"Okayy... but I look so awful nowww"...
I pictured how she looked yesterday right after the accident.
Then I said
"You've never looked better".
It wasn't a lie.
PS: All the pictures in this blog entry (except the first pic) was taken after the incident. I obviously didn't quite have the peace of mind to stop and take a picture during the crisis.
What kind of bastard would I be if I did that?