Raging wild fires in the Cape were a reminder of what’s truly important to us at the CareCompany.
We are proud to share this story from one of our night call duty carers who was looking after a client during the Noordhoek evacuation. The carer was sleeping in the room next to Mrs V.
I was sound asleep when the phone rang at about 1am on Wednesday morning, Mrs V answered from the bedside phone before I could get to it.
It was Jenny from the Neighbourhood Watch calling to tell us that the mountain was on fire and we needed to evacuate the area. As I threw some clothes on, found the keys, got the dog collared up, checked the house and pulled the car out; Jenny arrived at the house and helped Mrs V get dressed and ready. The three of us, together with the dog, bundled into my car and drove to safety. When we arrived, we were told to wait in the car where a few others had already gathered.
Moments later we were instructed to evacuate to the Noordhoek sports field but as we got to the Red Herring restaurant, the flames were threatening to spread to Beach Road and we were sent back to the beach parking lot – which had filled up quickly with people and cars trying to escape the fire. Mrs V was calm despite the chaos but when we got back to the beach, she needed the bathroom and I asked one of the kind local home-owners if she could use their loo. The stairs to the house were steep but I managed to help Mrs V make her way up. The home-owners kindly offered us some tea and it wasn’t long until the firefighters managed to contain the fire at the restaurant and we were able to use the road.
Mrs V was holding up well but I could see that the ordeal was taking it out of her. Although she wasn’t keen on going to the Noordhoek Manor, I insisted that she’d be more comfortable there. When we arrived, we were warmly greeted by Jenny, the Complex Manager and her son Dylan. They invited us into their large lounge area and offered us tea but Mrs V was too weak to walk unassisted. We helped her into a wheelchair and into the lounge. We sat there for a while but I could see that V was not feeling good. I discretely asked Jenny if they had a bed for her for the night.
Jenny organised a bed for Mrs V in the frail care section, there was even room for her dog! We made our way up a steep hill into frail care with Mrs V in the wheelchair. When we reached a two bed room Mrs V was offered more to drink. I got her into bed and made sure she was comfortable before I lay chatting to her until she fell asleep. In the morning, I took the dog out for a walk and by the time I got back, the day carer had arrived. We were offered breakfast and soon after we were told that it was safe for us to go back home.
Mrs V was so grateful that she wasn’t alone when she got the call and doesn’t know what she would have done if I hadn’t been with her. It was gratifying to help Mrs V when she needed it most and of course, the pleasure was all mine – she had been truly wonderful in a difficult situation. ♥
A very special thanks to Noordhoek Manor Retirement Village for being so accommodating and everyone who assisted in the evacuation procedure. I’m overwhelmed by the community spirit and the help we received – you were all amazing!