I heard the call and looked around to see who would respond. I was at that difficult stage where I knew very little, being just a 4th year vet student, and was more likely to be in everyone’s way than being a help.
Then I realised that this time I could help.
I had a car, and a map. I could drive the caesarian kit out to the farm, leaving the more qualified nurses who normally have to do this free for other tasks.
It also meant that I would get to observe my first cow caesarian, which was not something you often achieve during the daytime.
So I volunteered my services as a kit courier.
Within a short period I was on the road, equipped with everything the vet needed from local anaesthetic to surgical tools, and directions to the farm. I had been there before and was confident of my route.
As I travelled as fast as I dared, I wished for a blue flashing light. Everyone needed to see what an important mission I was on. A little calf’s life depended on me, and maybe its mother’s life too.
Then I hit the local main road, and a problem. It was utterly snarled up.
We were creeping forward, and I felt as though every minute wasted in the queue was the possibility of saving a life dripping away. Now I was praying for a flashing light in earnest.
I fidgeted and fumed, but there was no alternative route. I could do nothing but wait my turn to get past the break down creating the issue.
On arrival at the farm, I was a heap of nerves and apologies.
It was only then that I was informed very sadly that the calf had already been declared dead, before the request for the caesarian kit had been phoned through. The procedure still needed doing to help the mother, but there had never been any urgency.
I learnt an important lesson then. Although it has taken me some decades to really process it.
When you cannot change things, it’s really no good stressing about them.