This is a guest post from our friend Carmen Hawker from the Global Women's Project. We collaborated with her for their International Day of the Girl Event and she passed on this lovely story about friendship...
If you’re lucky you might have at least one friend who you hardly ever get to see but when you do it’s like you’ve never been apart. Well that’s what Alice is for me.
We met 13 years ago in high school but it was after school that I came to understand the true value of our friendship.
Last February, after a couple of years of planning and saving, we found ourselves travelling around Thailand together and having a ball in the process. By mid March, it was onto Nepal. I arrived late at night in Kathmandu with a splitting headache and could only really manage to crawl up the stairs of our guesthouse and into bed that night. Alice wasn’t arriving until the following evening so I just curled up in the foetal position with the doona over my head to block out the light, in too much pain to sleep or eat.
At 9pm the next night, Al walked in the door and took one look at me and said: ‘Carms, you look like shit.’ Jeeze, thanks Al! ‘You’re white as a ghost, what’s wrong?!’ she asked. ‘It’s fine I just have a splitting headache,’ I replied, trying to brush it off. By 7:30am the next morning it was pretty damn unbearable and I had become a tad delirious. Alice said ‘right, that’s enough, we’re going to a hospital’ and, despite my protests, proceeded to rush around the room and throw my things into a backpack. hail the guesthouse driver and chuck me in the backseat (gently of course!).
One treacherous car ride later, for those of you who’ve driven the streets of Kathmandu you’ll know what I mean, we arrived at an international hospital. She half carried me in the front door and onto an emergency room bed. By now the light was affecting me so badly that we were put in a dark room by ourselves with the door closed. I was trying to remain in good spirits and Al was trying to distract me by telling me the plans for our trek to Pokhara when I started having a rather violent seizure. Suffice to say, I nearly scared Alice half to death and never made it to Pokhara! I’ll do anything to get out of exercise...
While the rest is history in a way, I spent the next three and a half weeks in ICU in Kathmandu with blood clots blocking the two major veins in my brain and narrowly, very narrowly, avoiding a fatal stroke. If Alice didn’t bundle me into that car and take me to hospital that morning I would not be here today, I am convinced of that. She literally saved my life. See - Alice the amazing!
You will not find a more stylish, kind, fun and larger than life woman on this earth. I couldn’t imagine anyone saying a bad word about her - except maybe after she’s made them climb 1,327 steps up a mountain in Thailand (yes, that happened and I cursed her all the way up and all the way down).
Thank you Ruby Olive for helping me repay my super lifesaver in a small but lovely way. I could not think of a more deserving recipient of your gorgeous earrings who are as effervescent as she is!
Words by Carmen Hawker.