28 – Searching for Answers – The Hospital

Joe carefully leaned over Ann’s limp body placing his ear near her mouth and nose. He could tell she was breathing but her body was twisted in several directions with one arm under her back and the other lying above her head. Joe thought he could see Ann move a little and he quickly told her to just lie still until the paramedics arrived. She was trying to open her eyes when Sarah came running back from Joe’s car with the blanket she grabbed from the back seat after she called 911. The ambulance is on its way she shouted. Sarah opened the blanket up and they covered Ann up to keep her warm. Joe looked at Sarah saying; stay with her while I go check on Tom. As Joe stood up he could hear the ambulance sirens in a distance. He carefully approached Tom who was still leaning up against the steering wheel of the demolished car. He could see that the driver’s side was caved in pushing Tom towards the center of the front seat which was twisted up like one was folding over a piece of bread. His left arm was hanging out the broken out side window with a twisted wrist that looked like it had been bent at a ninety degree angle. Joe was slowly approaching Tom when he heard someone say something in a voice that sounded unstable and it wasn’t Tom that was trying to talk. He looked to his right and sitting on the ground next to the car’s back drivers side wheel was a man he didn’t know. It was then that he noticed the other car across the road sitting upside down in the ditch. Are you ok Joe quickly asked in a concerned but commanding voice? Joe had been so pre-occupied with Tom and Ann he forgot about the other car and anyone that might have been in it. Joe quickly looked down and just as he was asking if he was ok again, the man started saying; I am so sorry, I am so sorry, I am so sorry… Hey are you ok, Joe repeated? The Ambulance pulled up next to the accident and Joe quickly returned his attention to his best friend Tom who was still leaning against the steering wheel when he heard the paramedic tell him to move to the side so he could check Tom out. The other paramedic was with Sarah checking her vitals and looking for injuries. After a few preliminary checks the paramedic working on Tom slipped a neck brace around his neck and tipped Tom back in his seat and Joe could see that he was really hurt bad. His nose was twisted to one side, blood was coming from his left ear and his eyes were covered with blood that was still coming down from his forehead where there was a gash that looked to start at his left eye and cross over to his right ear leaving his scalp with a serious opening exposing part of his skull. A second ambulance had arrived along with a fire engine from the local fire house. The Fire Chief put a call in for a third ambulance when he realized he had at least three people injured. The man that had been sitting on the ground next to Tom’s smashed up car had been moved to the step of the first ambulance and was sitting with a blanket wrapped around him slowly muttering; I am sorry over and over. One of the firemen had check out the second vehicle in the ditch and couldn’t find anyone else. Quickly approaching the ambulance he double checked asking the injured man if he had anyone with him assuming he was the drive that hit Tom and Ann. After repeated tries, the man finally said; I was alone, I am sorry, I am sorry. The fire chief called for the jaws-of-life and they carefully extracting Tom from the car and before long they had their sirens blaring as they made their way to the hospital. Hurry up we’re losing him. That call of desperation to hurry from the paramedic that was working on Tom in the back left nothing to the driver’s interpretation as to how bad Tom was hurt. They pulled into the emergency entrance and the trauma team was waiting for them. Quickly pulling Tom’s stretcher from the ambulance they rushed him inside to the emergency room. The second ambulance had loaded Ann in it and arrived at the hospital shortly after Tom’s. The trauma team was already worked on Tom trying to see the extent of his injuries. The third ambulance had arrived at the accident site and was checking over the driver of the other car. The man had no major injuries except the paramedic knew he was suffering from shock because he kept shaking and continued saying over and over; I am sorry, I am sorry, I am sorry. It wasn’t long and they were heading to the Hospital.

A second police car had just arrived as the ambulance with Ann in it was departing and they quickly talked to Joe and Sarah asking if they had seen anything that would help them figure out what had happened. All Joe could do was point at the car in the ditch and said that car came out of nowhere and hit Tom’s car in the side. Sir, I really need to get to the hospital Joe replied with a bit of urgency in his voice. Sarah was crying and the officer could tell he needed to let them go. The officer asked Joe if he was able to drive. Yes I am ok, replied Joe. The officer told them to go and they would come by the hospital after they finished up if they had any other questions. Drive carefully guys, replied one of the officers and we hope your friends are going to be alright. Joe and Sarah ran back to their car and quickly headed towards the hospital when Sarah’s phone rang. It was Pastor Dan calling. She quickly hit the answer button and as she was crying she just said; can you meet us at the hospital. There has been a terrible accident. Tom and Ann were broadsided. I’m on my way, I will meet you there replied Pastor Dan as he jumped from his chair, grabbed his keys and headed to his car.

It wasn’t long and Joe and Sarah ran into the emergency room and were met by a nurse. They just brought our friends here and they are hurt really bad. Where are they? Can you help us? Come on you two, slow down a little. Come over here and sit down and I will do my best to help you. The guy that came in is in emergency and they are working on him as we speak. The girl is still being checked out but looks like she is in better shape and we should know more in a little while. Just then Pastor Dan walked through the doors and the nurse looked up and smiled saying I am glad you’re here Pastor. Can you help these two while I check to see how their friends are doing? Yes, go check and please let us know any news as soon as you have some. Just then the emergency room doors opened and the driver of the other car was wheeled in. Other than a blood on his shirt from what looked like a bloody noise, he looked like he would be ok. He spotted Joe and Sarah and he quickly looked back up at the ceiling as they wheeled him past them taking him into emergency to be checked out completely.

After what seemed like hours but was really only minutes, the nurse returned and smiled saying; I have some good news. Your friend the young girl is going to be ok. What did you say her name is? Ann, Sarah quickly replied. It appears Ann has a broken arm and a pretty big bump on the head but should have a full recovery. We will know for sure by morning. What about Tom replied Joe before the nurse had a chance to say anything else. Well it is still too early to know but he is hurt pretty bad and the doctors are doing everything they can to stabilize him. We should know more in another hour or so. I will keep you updated as I learn more. When can I see Ann replied Sarah with an anxious look on her face? Another nurse behind the desk replied; I have called her parents and they are on their way. Are you family Sarah? Ann is a really good friend and we were together tonight and were following them when this all happened, replied Sarah. Well she is still pretty groggy and needs to rest and the hospital rules make us wait for the parents or family to arrive replied the first nurse. Pastor Dan looked at Joe and could see the terror on his face and the tears were flowing down Sarah’s cheeks. I would like to pray right now that God will be with the doctors and nurses and Tom and Ann as they work on them. Will you join me? Joe reached out his hand and took Sarah’s and Pastor Dan was about to complete the circle when the nurse joined in taking hold of the hand of Pastor Dan and Joe and he began to pray. Lord, please be with the Tom and Ann, be with the doctors and guide their hands as they work to put these precious bodies back together again. Lord we put them in your hands. Watch over them and give them strength and allow their bodies to heal. Why these things happen we never understand, but please work your will and keep Tom and Ann safe. Keep them under your wing and heal their bodies. Also please be with Joe and Sarah and give them strength as they support their friends through this crisis. We ask this all in Jesus name, amen. Joe looked up at Pastor Dan as the tears were starting to flow. Tom is my best friend, he was just starting to think about God and I am not sure but I don’t think he has ever accepted Jesus or God. Oh please pray that he will have time. Please pray that he will recover and have time. I will Joe, replied Pastor Dan. Sarah wiped her tears from her cheeks with her hand and put her arm around Joe. Joe pulled her close as they both just stood in shock of what happened to their friends.

Pastor Dan asked if Joe and Sarah would like to get a soda or something while they waited to hear more from the nurses. Maybe that would be good, replied Joe. They made their way to the waiting room and were sitting quietly when Ann’s parents walked in the door. Sarah jumped up and ran over to Ann’s mom Sandy, throwing her arms around her neck as the tears started to flow again. Ann’s dad Greg just stood silent and her mom looked at Sarah and asked; do you know what happened? All we know is that they were in a car accident. They told us Ann is going to be ok and we should be able to see her in a little while after they are finished checking her over completely. But Tom is pretty serious and they can’t tell us anything right now. I called Randy and Jill, Tom’s mom and dad, to let them know about the accident but they live back in Michigan so they can’t get here until late tomorrow morning. I spoke to them on the way to the hospital and promised I would call them with any details as soon as I heard them. Sarah looked over at Joe and said maybe you can tell them better than I can. Well, all I can tell you is that we had been together at a meeting at church and we were going to go to the pub to talk a little about what we had learned and on the way they were broadsided. Ann ended up on the ground outside the car and Tom had to be extracted by the jaw-of-life when the fire department arrived. It all happened so fast. Just then the nurse walked in the door and asked for Ann’s mom and dad. She wants to see you. It wasn’t long and Ann’s mom Sandy walked back in the waiting room and told Sarah that Ann want to see her and Joe. Pastor, please come too. We can only stay with her for a few minutes but she really wants to see both of you.

They walked into the area where Ann was lying on a bed in emergency and Sarah looking over at her started to cry. Ann motioned for her to come over close. Sarah took Ann’s hand, smiled and asked; how are you doing. Well I think I am doing better than Tom but not that great either replied Ann. Can you tell me any more about how Tom is? All they will tell me is that the doctors are still working on him. All I remember is looking up at him in the car and seeing the headlights of another car as it hit us. We had just told each other how much we loved each other and then boom. The next thing I remember is that I was in an ambulance on my way to the hospital and I don’t remember much of that either. I am so scared and worried about Tom. Joe looked at Ann and quickly said; I will go and check again and be right back. Sarah was still holding Ann’s hand when Joe returned a couple minutes later. They tell me they are getting him stabilized. He has several broken ribs, a broken left arm and a serious head injury. He is sedated right now but what I picked up on was that they call it an induced coma so he will have time for some of the swelling to go down in and around his brain. They told me we just have to wait. Time is what’s needed. They said we should know more in the next days. Pastor Dan walked over to Ann and taking her hand he again prayed for Tom and Ann’s safe recovery. Greg and Sandy was thanking Pastor Dan just as the nurse came back in and told them they needed to let Ann rest for a while. Ann’s eyes were drifting closed so they all told Ann they would be close if she needed them as they made their way back to the waiting room.

Sandy told Joe she was going to give Tom’s mom and dad another call. We know them and I want them to know we are here with him. She stepped out and called Randy and Jill, Tom’s parents, and after giving them the best update she could, she told them they would be there when they got in tomorrow and would keep them informed of any changes. Greg can pick you at the airport if you would like and you can stay at our place also. She was just hanging up when she looked up and saw Carl and June walk in. She motioned for them to follow her and they made their way to the waiting room. When Sarah saw her mom she lost it as the tears started to flow and June put her arms around her trying to comfort her. Carl walked over to Joe putting his hand on his shoulder and no words needed to be said.

“To be continued”

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