"Can we call a doctor!?"
"I don't know how..."
I quickly, stupidly, but truthfully replied. And not having that knowledge or a phone on me made me feel terrible. The woman was having a seizure. An airport cleaning lady was nearby and people asked in several languages how to get help. Rolling her eyes, she sauntered down the hall and hadn't returned. All I could see were black wedge boots. But she'd stopped shaking. I leaned a little further and caught a glimpse of her face. Closed eyes. Purple lips. The man who had ran past me was on the floor behind her, holding her head,
"She's choking! She's dying! Where is a doctor??"
I didn't know what to do, a small crowd had already gathered, standing ten feet back. A young girl suggested to turn her head to the side, motioning to her tongue. I grabbed Chris' hand and prayed. Hard.
It seemed like twenty minutes passed. Two policeman came walking up with the previously mentioned annoyed airport worker. So slowly. They got on their radios. Suddenly I heard the man holding her say:
"Ahhh, welcome back! Welcome back!"
She was alive. I started to breathe again myself. A short while later, but still astoundingly slowly for a response team, the paid rescuers showed up with a gurney and trained help. Lights. Ambulance. Hospital. Quiet.
As the initial rescuer walked back to his seat three chairs down from us, he looked at all of us sitting (shamefully) and said:
"This is Europe?! In America, in New York, she would've been in a hospital thirty minutes already! This is Europe! The civilized world! They call us Yankees! We may be cowboys, but we care."
Chris told him "Thank you" and he waved it off.
I don't know why everything moved so slowly. Maybe because everyone trying to help spoke different languages or maybe because that sauntering woman was having a terrible day and didn't care who lived or died on her janitorial watch. But since I froze, I have nothing to say. Maybe I'm not so much like girl-Superman as I thought. But I do know that I'm extremely thankful for that New Yorker in his yellow Hilfiger shirt who came to the rescue.
A life was saved that night at 3am in the Brussels Charleroi airport thanks to him.
Rome to come. We loved it but this was too important not to share first.