Tonight I accompanied a loved one to the emergency room. While waiting, I caught sight of a man who just arrived with the ambulance. His head was covered with bandage and he had lost a lot of blood. When he was taken to the doctor, I started talking to the woman who accompanied him.
She told me they were at a party and he was knocked down by someone and hit his head badly. She was very worried.
“He could talk quite clearly when you arrived,” I said. “Don’t worry. Your husband will be okay.”
“He is not my husband but my best friend,” she said. “We live at the Institute for the Blind. We are visually impaired, we can only see contours.”
I was taken aback. I couldn’t tell. She was about my age.
She was born like this, she told us, and her mother left her. She was raised by stepparents and at orphanages. She is happy to be in Budapest now because she can make more money. But they work at the brush and broom factory that employs a lot of people with handicap – blind and deaf, mentally or physically impaired. She told us they are treated at the factory as if they were stupid. They get very low jobs. My dad added how little this factory pays the handicapped in comparison to other kinds of jobs and to “other” people.
A man in his 80s was sitting on the other bed. He had fallen in the street but had no papers on him. He remembered his name and the street he lived in but they found him very far from that place. The police were searching for hours to figure out where to take him home.