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After the night market on August 31, 1991

It felt as if someone poured a glass of cold water over my head. I was aware something terrible was happening, but I didn’t realize it was a stroke. In panic I shouted our family doctor’s phone number to Diana, but it felt like a spinning meatball was trying to pass through my throat  and my mouth was filled with yogurt. I thought, “Let it go, we’ll see where the ship ends up”. Then I collapsed onto the bed. I vaguely remember how the doctor, who had arrived by then, scraped my soles, and how I was carried down the stairs on a stretcher. “Bye-bye bedroom,” I never saw it again. That’s when the lights went out for me.

What I remember very well are the things that happened in the days leading up to it. In Middelburg, I struggled with heavy rolls of carpet in a stairwell scraping the skin off my arms, and my final job was carpeting an upstairs floor for a former classmate. The following days I went on sick leave because I was tired and nauseous. I watched TV on the couch with a sleeping bag including a live video of IQ (one of my favorite bands). I also witnessed Mike Powell breaking the world long jump record during the World Athletics Championships in Tokyo. I will never forget the images of his celebration. On that fateful evening Diana and I went to the night market in Goes with my parents, my brother Marco and his girlfriend Silvia. Afterward we went to a café for a drink. They went home, unaware we would meet again a few hours later. The ambulance first took me to the Oosterschelde Hospital in Goes. From there I was transported to the Dijkzigt Hospital in Rotterdam for a brain scan. They told me there was nothing more they could do for me. On the way back my parents followed the ambulance constantly wondering if I was still alive. Once back in Goes I was kept out of reality in the Intensive Care with valium injections because the ship had run aground.

hier de bezetting

© Dick van der Heijde 2023