Talking To The Dead
I can recall just about every little thing about that night. But ask me about the trip from the emergency room to the operating theatre and I draw a blank. One minute were in the emergency room the next minute I’m standing in front of the surgeon listening to him explain the procedure, that it would take about an hour and that he had a 95% success rate. Fair enough, I signed all the necessary documents and away they went.
I took a seat in the empty waiting area. Dirty Harry had just started on the TV. It was about half an hour later when I was joined by Anne, Ken’s partner and Joyce his sister. They had been given the news. Chances were that he wouldn’t see out the night. I was devastated for them. They asked about my Dad and they were equally sympathetic for my situation. They explained to met that Ken had lung disease even though he had given up smoking and drinking some 25 years ago. His problems went back many years and they noted that they would be happy for him to go if it meant he wouldn’t have to suffer any more. Brave words.
About an hour passed and they were taken in to see him. Not long after my father’s surgeon walked out of theatre passed me a piece of paper,photos of the procedure and said “All fixed!”. I waited a further hour or two before I was able to see him. I walked into ICU for the first time in my life. Not a pretty place at the best of times let alone 3am. Dad looked comfortable and the nurse reassured me that everything appeared to be alright. I stayed for an hour or so before deciding to leave. Prior to doing so I asked about Ken. I didn’t realise but he was in the bed next door and it had been a hive of activity.The nurse re-iterrated Anne’s words. It’s not looking good.
The next morning dad was awake and doing better. He had been in a very bad way and was now on the path to recovery. I told him about Ken his neighbour who was still with us barely.
Dad continued to improve over the next couple of days.
On the third day when I arrived to visit my dad I noticed Ken was sitting in a chair and was talking to Anne. I stayed with my dad for a bit over an hour until it was time to leave. I stopped outside Ken’s cubicle he was seated with his eyes closed though they seemed to open as soon as I stopped in front of him. I said hello and he just looked at me as if to say “who the fuck is this bloke”. I moved towards him and quickly explained how I had been in the emergency room when they brought him in and that I had also met his partner and sister. I asked him how he was doing. He said that apart from the “ambos” breaking his ribs he was feeling alright. I told him that I wouldn’t be putting all the blame on the “ambos” that chances were that one of the ten or so doctors that took turns on him may have something to answer for. He looked at me surprised “really?”
“I really didn’t expect to be talking to you” I told him. I wished him well and was on my way.
I won’t forget that friday night for as long as I live I was fortunate enough to see a man brought back from death’s door and as an added bonus I got to chat to him a few days later.
My dad is also back at home and doing fine.