E-hailing driver’s sudden death shows why we should never take things for granted

“Can you pick me up? My driver collapsed, and we are by the side of the road.”

That was the scary message I received on Wednesday.

An acquaintance of my sister-in-law’s was in town and wanted to meet the home minister and I.

We had initially arranged to meet in Subang Jaya, but rescheduled to have a drink at klia2, as she was flying off that night.

Just as we were about to head to the airport, she telephoned to say that her e-hailing driver had pulled over to the side of the road as he was not feeling well.

‘Diana B’ sent us her location, and we headed there immediately, battling the heavy traffic and non-stop rain.

We met Diana, and the first thing she said was: “The driver is dead!”

She was in shock, wet from the rain, shivering and afraid that she might miss her flight.

The driver was only 33. On the way to the airport, he had told Diana that he was not feeling too good and asked if he could stop at the nearest petrol station.

However, after a few seconds, he pulled over to the side of the road.

“I am grateful he did that, as there were many cars on the road. I was fiddling in my bag for some medicine or oil to pass to him, but he suddenly collapsed in his seat,” said Diana.

“I immediately called the emergency number. At first, I was stuttering, and my mind went blank when I got through.

“The person on the end of the line thought it was a prank call and scolded me for calling the emergency number. But, eventually, they realised I was genuine.”

Diana gave her statement to the auxiliary police and emergency responders, but could not leave the scene until the police arrived.

She tried calling the airline but could not get through, and when she tried to check in online, she was unable to log in.

Thankfully, the cops came, and after doing the necessary, allowed her to leave.

We sent her to the airport, where she managed to check in on time – luckily, she only had hand-carry luggage.

Diana was still shaking when we left her.

It was a horrible experience, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the driver’s family.

Death can come at any time, so while it may be a cliché, never take anyone, or anything, for granted.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES

The Covid-19 numbers report makes a return as we start our monthly round-up.

In January, we had 9,916 cases, with 12,039 patients receiving the all-clear, but sadly, 89 people lost their battle with the coronavirus.

Compared to a year ago, that is a tremendous improvement.

Rewind to Jan 31, 2022 – with new cases at 112,672, recoveries at 98,622, and fatalities at 491.

We have come a long way, thanks to the various standard operating procedures and an efficient vaccination programme.

However, the majority of Malaysians have yet to get their booster shots.

WORLD CANCER DAY

Today marks World Cancer Day, an annual event that unites everyone in the fight against cancer.

It was launched in 2000 by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), the biggest and oldest international cancer organisation.

The theme for World Cancer Day 2022-2024 is ‘Close the Care Gap’. This campaign, spanning three years, focuses on addressing the inequities in cancer care globally.

To make a difference in closing the gap in cancer care, get a copy of the National Cancer Society Malaysia’s (NCSM) ‘What Can I Do for World Cancer Day?’ booklets.

Available in English, Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin, and Tamil, the booklets can be found at: https://cancer.org.my/get-ahead/tun-abdul-razak-digital-library/book-booklets/.

MARRY ME CHICKEN

A sure-fire hit to get a second date! Try this marry me chicken recipe this weekend.

THERE’S A TEAR IN MY BEER

To end this week’s Diary, here is Hank Williams with a song to tug at your heartstrings.

Until next week, stay safe.

Main image: Generic image of a car driver.

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