In early October, one of my good friends from university, P., fell (or may have been pushed) down a flight of concrete steps in Johannesburg, and his his head. He had a severe brain bleed, and has been in a coma ever since. No one seems sure of what his chances of recovery are. During the time he's been in hospital, his family has become concerned about the level of care he's been getting in South Africa (as an example, he has been on and off a ventilator, and the hospital he's in only has eight of them, so should he need to be on a ventilator again he would have to stand in line). P. has dual nationality (Zimbabwean and British), his mother is English, and she wants to transport him back to the UK so that he can get better care at the Royal Surrey Hospital. The problem with this is the price - the cheapest quote she's received (for transportation on a commercial flight, with oxygen) is 345,000 Rand. P.'s mother is currently short £5,000 to have him transported, and ideally his friend would like to raise a bit more than that if possible, as she's having to deplete her pension fund to pay for this.
Given my current straitened circumstances, I can't donate very much myself, but I thought I would help to do my bit by spreading the word as far and wide as possible, just in case anyone fancied helping out. Obviously there is no pressure at all! The family needs the money ASAP, and so is asking for contributions by direct bank transfer, into either a South African account or a UK account. I'm obviously not going to share the details in a public post, but am screening comments so, if you're interested in donating, do comment and I'll give you the bank details.
It's this sort of thing that really puts my puny little problems into perspective.