Father of daughter with seizures calls neighbor doctor 3 times in one night; labeled ‘selfish’ for disturbing her

Gillian Sisley

The hardships of life can bring out the best—or worst—in people, as highlighted in a recent Reddit post.

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*This is a work of non-fiction sourced from social media discussion boards and verified experts/specialists.*

In the case of a 40-year-old husband and father trying to cope with his teenage daughter's medical emergency, his neighbor's compassionate response illustrates what it means to be a good human being. He explains further:

"I have a daughter Jane, 17, with my wife. We live in the suburbs. A few months ago, a lovely family moved in to the house next door to ours. Our new neighbours (Valentina and Isabel in their early thirties, with their two 3 and 5 year old kids) have been nothing but pleasant. Isabel is a doctor, and Valentina is an architect. Jane really hasn't had any health problems in her life. In fact, she's an athlete and very successful at school. However, since two weeks ago, she's been having seizures. She had 5 seizures in two weeks and despite there being many tests, the doctors are trying to diagnose what the problem is. We are devastated.”

Because his neighbor is a doctor, when Jane experienced 3 seizures the night before, he called Isabel to help. He continues:

"She helped stop the seizures, came with us to the hospital every time, and stayed there until everything was taken care of. She's been a tremendous amount of help and she never even frowned about this, let alone complain. Now, my cousin is a doctor. He lives in a different state but I still called to ask him about Jane. At the end of the conversation, I mentioned Isabel. I told him how wonderful she and Valentina had been to us during this difficult time both emotionally and professionally.”

Generally speaking, if you are frequently asking for favors from your neighbor that go beyond the occasional request for help with a task, you're likely taking advantage of them, as highlighted in Reader’s Digest. Before requesting a favor, consider if the request is reasonable to ask of your neighbor and if the situation is time-sensitive and unavoidable. Furthermore, always thank your neighbor for their help and be sure to reciprocate the favor if the opportunity arises, suggests The Spruce.

Though the father was grateful for his neighbor's help, his cousin chastised him for being inconsiderate and for calling Isabel over in the middle of the night. The author concludes with:

“My cousin went off on me for being inconsiderate to disturb her like that. He said she maybe wouldn't say something to my face but I was being a horrible neighbor. He also said that just because she's a doctor doesn't mean she gets to be called over by neighbors anytime. I told him off and said not all doctors were as self-entitled as him and I am glad there are people like Isabel. He is still mad at me. I told my wife and she said maybe we were being bad neighbors and needed to apologize or do something for them. I don't really know, I'm focused on Jane. Thankfully she's much better these past few days but I would like to know if I am in the wrong.”

What do you think?

Are the author and his wife being inconsiderate to call their neighbor every time they had a major emergency thus disrupting her night, rather than calling 911 for medical assistance?

Or should neighbors absolutely look out for each other, and it’s only understandable that the parents would be terrified when their child has a health crisis, thus calling a neighbor who is a doctor only makes sense?

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