"Mathers?" his eyes involuntarily shifted back into the direction|
of the scared little boy resting
out of sight nearby. He bent close
to the woman's ear. "Julie.. can you tell me if you have a little
boy or not?"
"I.... yes. It's Jeffrey." she said muzzily during a lucid moment. "The
of us just wanted...*cough* to take a little trip..." she groaned.
Mathers screamed when something
on top of her under the train car,
shifted. Immediately the men around her, froze, listening to the
mass around them. Bloody tears leaked out her eyes and Roy saw
tiny blood vessels start
to burst in them.
::Traumatic crush injury..:: DeSoto identified.
"Julie," said Roy urgently.
"Listen to me. We've got your
son out. He's ok. And so's his father. We...Jeffrey's right here at
the top of the hill. Do you hear me? Jeffrey's ok.. And Mr. Mathers
only has a broken arm. He's waiting
for us at the First Aid Station."
"J---ff? And Jared?" she gasped hoarsely. She began to fade
and so did her brief smile. Mrs. Mather's eyes began to close as
breathing suddenly became
"No, no.. no. " ordered Roy. "Julie? Open your eyes. Can you hear me?"
rubbing some knuckles into her breast bone. "You've got
to stay awake as long as you can. We need
Julie jerked and blinked. "W-where's Jeffrey?" she panted, then a jolt
made her cry out.
"Thirty feet away from us. He's safe." Roy replied, cupping her face
his hands. "Just keep focusing on me and not the train, all right?"
replacing the lighter oxygen mask
tightly over her mouth. "We'll have
it off of ya as soon as we can."
"I--I want to see him."
she bubbled, gripping Roy's hand tightly
with her own bloody one. DeSoto didn't know what was best.
::Should we spare the boy? By not letting him see his mother
like this? Or should we bring him down
here? In order to give
her a good reason to live?::
Right then, Dr. Brackett and Dixie
McCall arrived. "Roy, what do you got?!"
Roy's head shot up. "Traumatic chest or abdomen." he
instantly. "B.P.'s 104. Respirations 26 and shallow with active oral
positioned left lateral, recumbent. Something's
pressing her down badly. There's petechiae all over.
"Two large bore Ringer's Lactate I.V.s, wide open. But only if her
"Got them right here. Her lung sounds are still dry. That blood's
from a tongue bite."
Brackett's face twitched. "Ok, get em in and running."
DeSoto had to peel off Julie's powerful
grip on his hand, which had
left bruises behind.
"How's her consciousness level?" Dixie asked
another direction above him.
"Awake, groggy. Drifting when she gets tired of trying
breathe. We've been helping her. Also, she's feeling a fair
amount of pain here." Roy said, swabbing
down places on
Julie's arms for the I.V.s.
"I'm coming down there with some MS." Kel said,
a flashlight at Julie's face. "Keep that ambu handy. How soon
until she's extricated?"
Roy looked to Chet.
"Don't know Dr. Brackett. She's in here real tight. A whole|
crew was radioed a few min-"
shout interrupted him.
"They're right there." Kelly amended, continuing to dig with his
at Roy's feet, dog paddling dirt away from a hole as fast
as he could so a circular saw could fit
inside of it easily.
Kel leaped into the space Chet had made and soon
injected the pain medication.
"What's her name?" he asked Roy.
"Mrs. Julie Mathers." said four people.
around with a nod and he crouched down next
to Roy. A firemen handed him a helmet to wear and he put
"Mrs. Mathers. I'm Doctor Brackett. I just gave you something to
help with the pain.
Tell me, can you feel your legs or anything below
Julie nodded. "I feel....everything."
she grunted with effort.
"Where's Jeffrey? Please.. I want to see my son right n--" and she
as another shift in the car jolted through her. Mather's eyes
bugged out when an inexorable pressure
landed on her stomach.
She started to purple and her consciousness suddenly struggled,
Brackett yelled. "Get it off her now!" he shouted, gripping her chin
around the cervical collar
as two sets of hands began using the ambu
bag to try to get oxygen back into Julie's lungs. Animation
Mather's features and she started to convulse as blood flow
began to cease going into the
lower half of her body.
"Anything getting in doc?" Roy asked, snatching up an endotrachial
"No tube! The problem's because her lungs are being compressed.
Get it off her guys ASAP. We've
no ventilations!" Brackett yelled.
Captain Stanley and Marco worked the fastest K-12 cutting arcs
had ever made, one from each side, until they met in a semi circle
at the top. Many hands
punched the severed piece in and then lifted it
out as soon as it cooled enough to touch.
Julie's chest rose suddenly when the wall section's heaviness left it. |
She was quickly hyperventilated
until her color returned to normal
and until she began to resist it once more, moaning in feeble
A floodlamp from above then illuminated the newly freed gap
leading inside the
Brackett and Roy and all the rescuers paused in shock.
inch by four inch pole had been driven through Julie's
stomach just below the level of her diaphragm
on her right side.
Kelly's voice shouted bright and scared. "There's another victim
He's been impaled on this thing, too! Through his lower
abdomen." and he grabbed the nearest body
part to him, a
man's bare foot, that was jutting out from under a chunk of metal,
to test for
The new victim's voice began to scream. "I'm here. I'm alive! Agh..
Get me out.
Please. Get me out of here! I've been s-stabbed."
mind was racing. He had done everything he could
to arrange things. Julie Mathers merited an emergency
to save her life lying right where she was. But so did the second
man lying beneath
The Rampart physician took the stethoscope cups out of his ears
slowly. ::What should
Scott Kincaid was dozing fitfully under his two I.V.s and he
was still mumbling, begging
The firemen had asked Kel repeatedly if he wanted them to cut the pole
the two with their saws in order to get them out of the train
but he refused to let them.
vibrations and movement from any cutting will most likely kill
both of them! You know as well as I
do that the pole is acting as
a tourniquet internally. No, we're gonna have to operate on them
soon as we get it freed using something with less impact, an
arc welder perhaps. Then we can slide
them both off it when it
collapses." Brackett outlined to the fire and rescue crews.
men looked at each other uncomfortably.
Roy grabbed Kel's arm. "There's only one of you, doc.
They will both
bleed massively once they're freed. And there's no way you can operate
on both of
them at the same time...not fast enough.." he urged, the
situation was already very clear in his
mind in a surge and Brackett
saw that his senior paramedic's eyes were painfully haunted.
know that. This is triage, Roy..." he said, filling the noisy hole
with a sudden calm horror. "Pick
"Don't ask me to make that kind of choice, Doctor Brackett." DeSoto
stepping away from the bloodied doctor, angling
his dusty head. "I can't. " he gasped. "Not ever."
"Then let me make it for you. You are relieved of the responsibility."|
Kel said firmly, hardening.
"You can't play god with their lives..." Dixie said to Kel forcefully,
her face paling. "No
"What other choice do I have?" Kel said a little loudly, crouching
two now stabilized, gravely injured patients. He swept
both his hands out into a frustrated shrug.
From the ground below them, a weak feminine voice sighed.
"You can let US decide who. It's
our lives, doctor. Not yours. "
Julie Mathers and Scott Kincaid were lying quietly and both their
sets of eyes were silently watching them all, glazed from pain medications.
Between them, their
hands were clasped calmly together for comfort
as if Julie had never uttered such a horrible statement.
"But first, let me see my son." the mother requested.
From: "Cassidy Meyers"
Date: Thu Sep 16, 2004 10:08 am
Subject: Miracle Baby..
Dr. Early and Dr. Morton met Johnny Gage at the emergency
desk at a run. They both were in blue surgical
Mike already wore his blue mask while Joe's was still dangling
around his neck. Johnny
puzzled at that odd observation for a
total of two seconds. Then Dr. Early spoke, breaking his curiosity.
"Treatment Four, we're already set up, Johnny." Joe told
the busy paramedic. "Has she started
breathing on her
Gage spoke between the puffs of air that he was giving
and he let himself be guided to the right place.
"About one every four, doc. She's really cold. But
pulse's hanging in there." he said, pulling off the cannula he
wore for the infant. An orderly
took the oxygen cylinder
out from under his arm just as it fizzled out the last psi.
to the treatment room opened on a surgical
"This isn't sterile, Johnny. Set her down."
said Joe, patting
the exam bed while he gloved up and put on his mask.
Mike Morton got busy
with a warming probe and
he started calibrating a respirator to the baby girl's
size and age.
Gage nodded. " Dix said she's about twenty weeks old.
This is paramedic Bob
Bellingham's little girl. He was on
the train because he was off duty on vacation. My guess is
he was on his way into the city for a pediatric doctor's
"H*ll of a way to get one."
said Morton through
his surgical mask while he flicked the baby's feet
to test for her awareness
Gage carefully set the limp baby girl down on the
treatment bed, supporting her head
Joe Early immediately listened to her chest with
a stethoscope while Morton set
a neonate positive
pressure O2 mask over her face. "I've a rate about 150. "
he said, looking
at Johnny for a reason why it was so high.
"I looked her over really good. Her sternum's|
swollen but intact." Johnny said. "That tach's not
Brackett ordered some serious epinephrine. That might be
why she's racing."
"How much?" Morton asked.
".01 mg of 1/10,000. " Gage replied, as he stuck baby sized
pads and leads onto the distressed infant lying
between them under the exam light.
Johnny, we got it from here. Nice work
bringing her back."
"No problem, doc. Bob'll be flying
in to you on the next trip.
He's been in and out of consciousness. I just thought I'd
He might be a handful trying to find out where
his daughter went to."
Mike nodded. "I'll tell
Carol once we've stabilized her
"Is it bad out there?" Joe asked Johnny.
We're still doing Initial Triage, with Dixie
and Brackett at the head of the main team. We're
Car 52 out of 102."
Morton whistled through his mask. "That's a big
passenger train. Get set
for massive casualties
once you hit the sleeper cars."
"Sleeper cars?" Gage said, watching
the two doctors
examine the baby for injuries beyond the obvious ones.
"Yeah. Amtrak commuters
pay a premium for a two
by five foot cubby bunk recessed into a wall."
Mike gave a shudder. "I
never get a ticket
for one myself. Reminds me too much of a coffin."
"Maybe those provided
some protection to
the riders.." Johnny thought. "Being that they
weren't in a lot of space to
get thrown around
in too much during the derailment."
Morton shook his head in disagreement,
a noise of negation. "Most likely that snugness backfired.
Doesn't take much to crush in
the roof of a train car."
Johnny frowned at that. Gage sighed, mentally letting
go of his
tiny patient. "I'd better get back. Chopper's waiting.
You're sure she's gonna be all right?" he said
talkie antennae at the bed as he backed up reluctantly,
not wanting to leave his patient.
Joe grinned. "I guarantee it. She's checking out over 90%"|
"Good. That's real good, docs. Thanks."
looking very paternal.
"Say, Johnny.." said Dr. Early.
you get back, check in with Dr. Brackett, ASAP.
He mentioned something about emergency field surgery
at Car number 50."
"That'll be Roy's case. He was working with an entrapment.
I'm on it." and
then Johnny turned with an effort and was gone.
"Devoted, isn't he?" Morton remarked.
what makes him one of the best." Joe commented.
The fluting tones off the EKG monitor rose another
ten beats a minute and Joe ordered the baby sedated
to rest her metabolism and heart. He got down
business and started to intubate the tiny baby.
Mike blinked around his surgical cap and
"Will she need the crich?"
"No, a 2.5 worked just fine. Let's get her hooked
the bird." he ordered. "Set it to fifty percent in
case she's got some pulmonary bruising from the
Joe smiled and stroked the sleeping infant's face with
a finger. "What a lucky little
girl. Six fragile pounds against
400 tons of crashing locomotive and all she's got to worry
is a little hypothermia.. Absolutely amazing.."
From: "Champagne Scott" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu Sep 16, 2004 2:02 pm
Subject: How You Leave the World Behind...
lowered her head so the sudden tears erupting in
her eyes, wouldn't be seen. She waited to see how
reacted to his patients getting involved in their own life
saving or death decision.
Brackett immediately addressed Julie's concern.
"I have no intention of keeping you separated from
son, Mrs. Mathers. In fact, I'll send my paramedic right now
to go fetch him." and he nodded
up at Roy to leave the hole
and get the boy. "We were just simplifying things until we
the physical conditions of both you and Mr. Kincaid."
"Simplifying.. Yes, " Scott coughed into
his oxygen mask.
"That's what we're going to be doing, isn't it?"
Brackett remained silent,
as he took first Scott's blood pressure,
then Julie's to mark the new readings on their triage tags.
Julie started weeping and Dixie went immediately to her
side to hold her hand. "Shh,.. we'll figure
this out. I-It doesn't
have to be this way.." she whispered. "Let Dr. Brackett think a
Mrs. Mathers' weeping created spasms along the
pole spearing her and she grasped at it reflexively
in a choked
silent scream. Dixie helped hold it still, along with Marco.
"Give the morphine
time to work." Kel said. "Another five minutes."
Scott was shocky and bitter. "Is that how long
we have? Another five
minutes?" he gasped, helping his attending firemen hold Julie's
was impaling him, too, steady, while others bound his
wound to control his bleeding. "Forgive me doctor,
for a little
gallows humor on my part. It's just that these circumstances are
bizarre. I'm a lawyer and so this strikes me
as just a bit......funny. I didn't expect to go this
way when I got
up this morning."
Julie almost started laughing through her grief and fear
because of shock and the morphine. But then she filled
with uncontrollable sobbing when Scott's joke
Mr. Kincaid caught her grief and magnified it.
Scott kept tight hold of Julie's hand
the whole time he spoke to
his rescuers. "We're perfect strangers," he said of himself
Mathers. "And yet I feel like I can't ever let go of her."
"Mr. Kincaid.." Kel began. "I'm so sorry. But we have to hurry.|
The hemorrhaging you both are experiencing
will soon reach
a critical point. Surgery will have to begin immediately."
"Scott. We can't
let them go through....*gasp* what we're going through.
It's..not right for us to make them choose........who
dies.." Mathers groaned making eye contact with the man.
twisted in sudden remorse and sadness.
Then he mumbled. "Can you all leave us alone for a moment?"
Reluctantly, the firemen, nurse and doctor retreated out of the hole.
When they were gone,
Scott drew a bloody coin out of his pocket
and he opened up Julie's fingers one by one tenderly before
he set it
onto her trembling palm. "This is the only thing I can think of for us to
do. I guess
I can live or die by the outcome. Money always talks anyway.
*cough* Heads or tails?"
Julie said woozily.
"Ok, I've got tails. Ready?" and Scott hefted their joined hands up for a
toss of the fateful quarter into the air...
"Ready.." she replied.
The flying piece of bloodstained silver glinted in the light.
Roy arrived back with
a bundled Jeffrey Mathers following along
behind and he knelt by the boy and told him that his mother
was under the train. "Don't be afraid, Jeffrey. Your mother's
been given some medicine and she isn't
feeling her injuries.
She's... she wants to see you."
"Is she going to get out of the train?"
"We're still working on it." DeSoto answered truthfully.
"Yes, sir.." said the frightened
boy. He took Chet Kelly's hand long
enough to climb down under the lantern lights and into the hole.
At the sound of her son's approach, Scott and Julie both covered
where the pole had gored them
with a free blanket so the child
would not see it. And then they both let go of their desperate
bonding hand clasp.
Julie quickly dried her face and held out her arms to her son. "Jeffrey?"
Jeffrey rushed into them and into a deep hug. "Mom. I was so
scared, but they took really good
care of me. Dad's ok. A policeman
is trying to find him right now so he can come see you, too, but
said it might take a long time to find him."
Julie started crying anew at the mention
of her husband.
"That's ok." she said smothering him full of kisses and she smoothed
his hair down
around the dried blood and dirt that had crusted there.
"And soon, you'll get to the hospital where
you can get cleaned up.
Won't that be nice?" she said, hiding a grimace of pain from the pole
bumped by Jeffrey's back.
Jeffrey looked up from his mother's embrace. "Who's that?" he
pointing to Mr. Kincaid lying nearby.
"That's Scott, another train passenger. He works in the
a lawyer, just like what you want to be when you grow up."
"Hi Scott. "
Jeffrey.." said Mr. Kincaid. "Are you ok?"
"Yes." replied the dirty, bloody boy. Then his fingers found his mouth, |
"Are you and mom ok?"
Julie and Scott suddenly met eyes and rejoined hands and they
both couldn't stop the tears from flowing
down their faces.
"Jeffrey, honey. I have always told you the truth about things
we talk right?" Julie began.
"Yes." the boy said, touching the oxygen mask around his
Scott blinked and a fit of coughing interrupted mother and son.
Then Mrs. Mathers
spoke. "Well I'm going to tell you something
now,...that is going to be very very hard for you to
even to think about. But,... I have to say it now while I still can."
started to cry, instinctively sensing the worst.
"Are you hurt very badly, mom?"
I am. And so's Mr. Kincaid. And ...and..the doctor
here can help only one person get better because
far away from the hospital."
"...no..." murmured Jeffrey, clinging to Julie's neck.
up, Mommy. Don't say that. I don't want you to."
"And Mr. Kincaid and I have decided....
who ..stays behind."
Next to them, Scott's head began to sink lower and lower
began to set in.. and he
whispered over and over again. "I'm sorry, Julie.. I'm
Jeffrey's mouth gaped open in wordless grief when he heard
Scott's faint admission and he began
to wail and cry desperately.
"NO.. make them save YYyoou, mom.. Please...Make them save--.."
he began to hold tight to Julie's shoulders, tangling his fingers
into her damp hair.
felt bad jolts of pain but she managed to speak.
"Shhh, Jeffrey. You have to go, so the doctors can
to work on Mr. Kincaid. I...just wanted to say goodbye.
And to tell you how deeply I love
you ..and Daddy." she weeped.
"Noo, MOm..... no..!" Jeffrey wheezed, trying to bury his
words under the oxygen mask with his cheek and hands.
At his cries the rescue personnel returned.
And Johnny Gage
was among them. No one had to ask what the outcome of the
private decision had
Quietly, crews swirled around Scott Kincaid and Dr. Brackett
barked orders for more I.V.'s
and a new one of whole blood
of Scott's blood type.
Julie said to Roy as he approached, "You
take really good
care of him...." she demanded, hot tears burning her cheeks.
"Jeffrey.. I love
you..." she whispered into her raging son's ear
and then he was torn away from her grasp by the firemen.
Julie lay back down in shock as a numbing darkness began
to nibble at the corners of her awareness
and she watched
Jeffrey's struggling form under the paramedic's arm as if
it were a silent slow
The doctors were ready to drape Scott's abdomen when
Dixie noticed that Scott
had Julie's hand once more in an
"Hold it. Hold it.." she snapped and McCall
leaned close to Scott's
ear. "What is it, Scott?"
"Help her instead. I........have no family...."
and then he fell unconscious.
Dixie's face fell under a flood of tears with high emotion and she
"Dr. Brackett! Did you--?"
"I heard." he said bruskly, already transferring positions
to crouch over
Julie Mathers while he threw on a surgical gown, mask and sterile gloves.
We're gonna cut her free without waiting for the arc welder.
Don't worry about spinal immobilization.
This is life saving measures first.
Get set for heavy bleeding and have hemostats standing by. I
one hundred percent certain that only one lobe of her liver is involved.
time to lose! " he snapped.
Then he paused briefly and looked at Chet after studying Scott Kincaid's
slack face with an unreadable expression. "Fireman Kelly, please stay with Mr.
we move him out of the way." he ordered gently. "Have him brought
out to a paramedic team. There's
always a remote chance that somebody else,
apart from us, can still save him."
didn't hear any of the last two minutes. Her eyes had closed
and she drifted away into a deep coma
under Dixie's hands.
and Johnny laid Jeffrey Mathers down onto the ground.
DeSoto felt for his pulse. "He's fainted."
the emotionally overcome
paramedic said hoarsely.
"Cover him up." said Gage, equally effected.
"Dr. Brackett's going
to need me in there. Joe ordered me to help him."
"Go. I'll stay until
the boy's father arrives.." DeSoto said protectively
cradling Jeffrey's head while he monitored the
boy's shallow breathing.
::A nightmare. I can't believe this is happening.:: Roy thought.
But then the radio next to him crackled. ##HT 51 to Squad 51##
"Squad 51." Roy acknowledged.
It was Johnny and he said four
##They went with her.##
Roy dropped his
head into a grimy hand. "10-4." And he started
breathing faster. His chest hurt in sympathetic pain,
as the great
emotional burden that he had been an unwilling witness to, suddenly lifted
his partner's terse statement. The radio fell bonelessly from
A few minutes later
he began to gently stroke Jeffrey Mathers forehead
to wake him gently, as his father would have done
had he been there.
Roy hastened the boy's recovery with a soft lullaby that only they could hear.
Click strobe light to go to Page Four