Annie Thu Henrich: Modesto group helped couple in need

July 12, 2014 

I have a story to share that lifts the spirit; a story many of us need to hear about some good, caring people in Modesto.

We are a French group called le Cercle des Amis. We have been together for the past 15 years with about 35 to 40 families who meet once a month to speak French, eat French food and enjoy a good time.

Two weeks ago, I got a call from a nurse at Memorial Medical Center asking for someone to translate English to French for a couple of French tourists. Apparently, the man fell gravely ill while visiting Yosemite and was taken to Memorial and had lapsed into a coma.

His wife was alone, spoke little English, and was very frightened. His prognosis was not good. I went immediately to Memorial and was able to reassure this woman that we would help her with anything she needed. Not to worry!

Our group translated the doctors’ diagnoses, insurance issues and plane reservation cancellations. And we provided a place to stay while she waited to learn the outcome of her husband’s health problem.

During the two weeks they were in Modesto, le Cercle des Amis was there all the way. They left last Sunday for France. They told us that without our help, they did not know what would have happened to them as they went through a scary situation in a foreign country where they did not fully understand the language. They will forever remember the hospital staff and all the wonderful Americans they met who helped them through their nightmare.

Our group will get together today to celebrate Bastille Day (July 14), the French National Day.

Annie Thu Henrich, Turlock

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