I need help

I need help please, my husband is very seriously ill in Marmande hospital and unfortunately I do not understand what they are saying to me, if someone could phone them as my translator I would be very grateful.

Margaret… sorry to hear of your plight and your husband’s illness.

I doubt if the hospital will give much detail (if any) to a stranger… but if we forumites can help in any way… I am sure we will…

Is there anyone out there who speaks/understands French well over the phone ('cos I am naff) ???:thinking::thinking::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

It must be doubly stressful if you can’t communicate with the medical staff.

I’m surprised that non of the doctors speak enough English to at least try to explain what is going on.

I’m afraid that my spoken French is not good enough to help but if you need any written medicalese translating from either English or French into everyday language I can probably give it a go.



Just a thought, have a word with your own Doctor . It is quite usual for the Family Doctor to find out what is happening to a patient in Hospital… and then the information can be passed on to you. If you contact your Surgery and explain the urgency… it is more than likely that your Doc can solve your problems…

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Stella is right, they won’t give any information on the phone to a stranger (secret professionnel). You really need to have somebody going with you to the hospital who can translate.

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Yes, I suppose so… unless Margaret can be in the hospital and hand the phone to the staff … with the translator on the line… would that work, do you think ??

I’ve made the dash to hospital myself, many times, to help folk at such times… but Marmande is rather a long way away… :thinking:

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Margaret… having given this some thought… I think there are 3 lines of enquiry…

  1. speak with your own Doctor
  2. find a french/english-speaking person to go with you

If all fails…speak to your Mairie… I have known instances when the Secretaire has somehow “cut through red tape” to help folk in real distress… Having said that… privacy will be respected, but help will surely be found.

Anyone else want to chime in…

Hello Margaret

There must be someone in the hospital that speaks enough English to give a basic explanation.

Do you speak enough French to ask if there is someone at the hospital who can help? If not I’m sure someone on here can tell you what to say and then you can write it down and show the doctors.

Maybe the doctors will write down for you what is happening and then you can reproduce that on here or show it to someone who can translate or, at the very least, type it into Google translate.

Another alternative is that Cancer Support France may be able to help. I am in contact with one of their volunteers and there is a branch in Lot et Garonne where I see you are living. They don’t just help people with cancer they will also help people with other very serious medical problems. I attach a link below and you should maybe give them a call and see if they can send someone to the hospital to help you.

I know how you feel as I’m in a similar situation but am fortunate enough to have sufficient French to communicate with the medical team. I wish you all the best.

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Margaret, can I help? I’m about 40 mins away from Marmande but if nobody else comes forward I’m happy to accompany you there. I doubt they will give me information over the phone but it may be worth a try.


There is a “service social” in hospital, they might be able to guide you ?
Here is their email adress : service.social@chicmt.fr


Thank you all for your kindness. I had another thought when was I looking out the window my neighbours grandson is French but speaks a little english so he phoned the hospital for me and now I know exactly what the problem is. If he gets through tonight then hopefully he will be on the mend.


Margaret I messaged you with my phone number. If you get stuck then please ring and I’ll help if I can. Meanwhile, my best wishes to you and prayers and thoughts for your husband xx


Well, I reckon we are all crossing ourselves, fingers and toes… on his behalf.

Deep breath, keep cool… we are all rooting for you and for him.

xx Stella

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Thank you Sandy how kind of you. Yes I think a lot of prayers are needed.

Thanks Stella it is really nice of you. I think tonight a couple of glasses of wine are in order.


Just an idea… would you want to stay at the hospital tonight… if that is possible?? Something perhaps the “grandson” could ask… if you wish it…

Whatever… my thoughts are with you… :hugs:

My thoughts are with you Margaret, believe me your OH is in the best of hands.
I have been in the same position (several times) with a loved one seriously ill in hospital so can understand what you are going through.
Hope that there is someone who can keep you company during this time , if only to help while away the long hours. A glass of wine or two (in moderation) will maybe help you relax, as Stella and others have said we are all rooting for you both …


Thank you Ann and Stella, no I do not think I can stay in Marmande, I am on my own probably best, dont want others watching me crying.

I have to say I am not good at asking for help.

I can understand that too Margaret, but with a serious situation like this then a little ‘call out’ to others can help.
I am sure that if you knew someone in the same situation then you wouldn’t hesitate to offer a helping hand.
This forum is a great place where we can talk about different subjects, have different points of views, even be a bit ‘niggly’ on occasions with others. At the end of the day though there is always someone ready to listen, give advice and rally around. That to me is very important.
I know what you mean about not ‘giving way’ in front of others, I was always raised not to show my feelings. Have a drink, have a weep but know that there will always be someone on here ready to listen and help where possible.
Very warm thoughts and positive vibes from me to you x