“I met a girl on the train last night,” begins the Twitter thread, which has received over 22,000 retweets so far.
Any seasoned commuter will tell you, in no uncertain terms, that there’s nothing to love about the journey into the city. From stifling hot trains, to being pressed up against a sweaty stranger’s armpit on the tube, to having people judge you for applying make-up or eating a sandwich (in public – the ultimate waking nightmare, apparently), there’s a lot to contend with.
The worst thing of all, though, judging by horrified reactions to TfL’s ‘Tube Chat?’ badges (designed to encourage conversation and combat loneliness), is interaction with other people. Indeed, the majority of London commuters seem to crave nothing more than a few moments of solitude, read their book or newspaper, listen to their favourite song on their iPad, to catch up on emails, or to simply collect their thoughts for the day ahead.
However, a viral Twitter thread has expertly explained why taking notice of those around us is so very important.
In a series of tweets, a Canadian writer named Erynn Brook opened up about a late-night train ride she recently experienced. What began as an ordinary journey, though, changed when she was approached by a stranger.
“I met a girl on the train last night,” she began, before going on to reveal that the woman asked her for help, revealed that she was epileptic, and handed out a laminated seizure plan.
Brook has asked that nobody screenshot the thread or transcribe it, out of respect for the girl in question, but it can be read in full here. What is perhaps more interesting, though, is the responses she has received from the wider Twitter community. The thread has received over 22,000 retweets and 59,333 likes in counting, and generated countless messages from those calling for a greater sense of connection with others.
“We’re all just walking each other home,” noted one.
They added: “My throat hurts and my heart aches for all the vulnerable people facing life’s battles all by themselves.”
All in all, this conversation has reminded us all how one small act of kindness can make all the difference to someone’s life. Which is, in today’s society of digital communication and disconnect, a beautiful philosophy to uphold.
How to help someone having an epileptic seizure
According to the Epileptic Society, the most important thing you can do when someone begins convulsing is to “stay calm”. Their list of tips on what to do next includes:
- Look around - is the person in a dangerous place? If not, don’t move them. Move objects like furniture away from them.
- Note the time the seizure starts.
- Stay with them. If they don’t collapse but seem blank or confused, gently guide them away from any danger. Speak quietly and calmly.
- Cushion their head with something soft if they have collapsed to the ground.
- Don’t hold them down.
- Don’t put anything in their mouth.
- Check the time again. If a seizure doesn’t stop after 5 minutes, call for an ambulance (dial 999).
- After the seizure has stopped, gently put them into the recovery position and check that their breathing is returning to normal. Gently check their mouth to see that nothing is blocking their airway such as food or false teeth. If their breathing sounds difficult after the seizure has stopped, call for an ambulance.
- Stay with them until they are fully recovered.
They note that you should only call 999 if it is the person’s first seizure, they have injured themselves badly, they have trouble breathing after the seizure has stopped, one seizure immediately follows another with no recovery in between, the seizure lasts two minutes longer than is usual for them, or the seizure lasts for more than five minutes.
You can find out more here.