Carla smiles as she watches Scott’s eye and body animated at the table as he continues the bedtime story from last night. Earlier while mixing pancake batter, Jessica rushed into the kitchen in her nightie to tell her Dad was looking at his arm as if something were wrong with it.
She stopped mixing the batter and put the bowl down on the kitchen counter then gave her eldest child a quick hug and told her not to worry. Jessica’s face indicated to her she was not so sure about her mother’s words until a few moments later Scott hurried into the kitchen as he shouted a question to John and Adam. After witnessing this Jessica smiled and hugged her back before letting go to hurry to her room to change out of her nightie into her school clothes, a white shirt and blue shirt with knee-high blue socks and black shoes.
Carla turned back to the counter, picked up the bowl, and made her way to the stove to pour some batter into the hot skillet. Now she thinks about how far Scott has come from the first time she met him a decade ago. At the time nineteen-year-old, Carla was a student nurse. She stood outside in the fall cold in her purple scrubs with two other nurses hearing the sirens of an approaching ambulance they could not see yet. A few minutes later the ambulance backed up towards them with one of the crew opening the back doors as it came to a halt.
Carla and the two other nurses quickly got a hold of the gurney, not it up and standing on its wheels than with the help of the crew member. Carla then took the IV line and held it away from the gurney while the two other nurses and ambulance crew member got the gurney with the patient strapped down out of the ambulance. All the while the crew member them told about the patient as they rushed him inside.
“Eighteen-year-old male, overdosed on Percocet and Vicodin. His brother and two friends found him passed out in the basement curled up in a ball in pain, shivering and clammy to the touch. They told me this is not the first overdose the patient has had. I have him Naloxone to knock him out of septic shock and get his high heart rate down.”
A few minutes later as she, the other nurses gathered his vitals and gave them to the attending physician when suddenly the patient, sat up and splattered them with the contents of his stomach. All of them instinctively jumped back as he threw up before falling back down on the gurney worn out. It was soon after looking at his young man with his clammy skin, the freckles barely visible on his pale skin, his shaggy brown hair, and his blank hazel eyes made a spark in her, a connection in milliseconds, she never expected.
However, Carla would not realize what had happened with that one look until she saw the patient lean over the hospital bed rails to pick up a plastic bag with his belongings from a nearby chair. The patient brought it to the bed and looked inside as the bag sat on his legs. He took out his dark cloth wallet, opened it, and stared at the driver’s license. What a strange thing to do she had thought and in the next second she felt differently about this patient than the others, she had to help him more.