Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: NOISE (05/03/18)
- TITLE: The Heartbeat
By Stephen Kimball
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“Let’s give him one more dose of Epi and Continue CPR.” I say as my mind goes over the checklist, knowing that we are nearing the end…
“Pause CPR…Check for pulse.”
“What time is it?” I ask, after what seems like an eternity.
“Nineteen forty five”.
The words hang in the air - emotions are raw. A hush invades the room.
The charge nurse dutifully records the time in the chart as I begin the slow, agonizing walk over to the parents.
This is not what I bargained for when I decided to become a doctor - I wanted to save lives! They said this would be the most difficult part of my job. “God help me.”
“We did everything we could…I am sorry for your loss.”
Gasping for breath there is hesitation; an empty look of denial.
I briefly try to interject with an explanation of the measures we took but I know they are no longer listening.
“I’m so sorry…You may visit the treatment room, please take as much time as you need.”
I leave and give them time alone to prepare themselves.
A few minutes pass…they move to see the unthinkable; the
unbearable with their own eyes.
As soon as she beholds her lifeless child her body begins to quake, she stumbles back through the curtain into the hallway, letting out a shriek that pierces the hearts of everyone in the building.
She crumbles to her knees on the floor in a heap and sobs.
Her husband joins her. She buries her head in his chest as he wraps her in his arms… “Why?!Why?Why?Why?Why?” She mutters through the tears.
“Hold it together”, I tell myself as I move toward the couple. Kneeling before them, I place my hand firmly on his shoulder.
“Would you like to meet with someone on our pastoral staff?” I ask, hoping for a receptive heart.
“Pastor Jon is here and would like to talk with you and pray with you, let me introduce you…” she accepts with a nod.
I help this dear woman to her feet and lead them back into the conference room then find my way to my office, close the door and bury my head in my hands…“God, I cannot imagine the hurt, but these people sure need you now… I pray for the family… for Pastor Jon in this critical moment...”
I pull myself together and head back to the emergency room.
Five more ambulances have arrived since I got here and was shuffled into that horrific scene.
Boom bm…boom bm…boom bm…boom bm…boom bm…
The condition of my next patients, thankfully, are not as dire as the first but it hits me, like a ton of bricks, that they are all critical; they are all dying.
Fred Wilcox with another diabetic foot wound that refuses to heal after having his other foot recently amputated, the disease slowly leading the once vibrant man through a painful journey that will eventually take his life.
Sarah Stone comes in again, only 56 years old but she looks 80. She packs her own oxygen tank which she is attached to 24/7 in order to breath, which is an increasingly difficult task due to her emphysema caused by 40 years of smoking. She quit six months ago but the damage is done…this too will cut her days short.
Then there is Emma…Just Emma. She’s been here at least once a week over the past few months. The nursing home sends her to make sure she’s not in her last throws of this world. She has never spoken a word. Her blank stare cuts to my heart. She reminds me of my own mother, once full of life. She probably has family somewhere. Where are they? I wonder.
I cup Emma’s listless hand between mine…“ Ms. Emma”, I whisper... “Do you know Jesus?” I hope so…”Jesus loves you Emma.”
I practice John 3:16…But she won’t respond.
“People need the Lord.” I remind myself as I move on.
Boom bm…boom bm…boom bm…boom bm…boom bm…
“You hear that?” I voice to no one in particular….”That’s the heartbeat of a sick and hurting world rolling through those doors.”
Three more stretchers line the hallway now, eleven more ailing in the waiting room.
Boom bm…boom bm…boom bm…boom bm…boom bm…boom…
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