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copyright © 1999, 2000,2001 Andrew V. Smith. All Rights Reserved
Survival and Balance, con't
Karen calls April’s parents. They are already at the hospital when Sandy
arrives. The emergency room personnel are at a loss. Mr. McGill did a good
job reviving April, but there’s no apparent cause for her coma-like state.
April’s left arm pulsates spasmodically in a very infrequent fashion. The
residents and attending physician aren’t sure how to proceed. Finally they
decide to move April to intensive care and order a battery of tests.
Mandy takes advantage of the transfer time from emergency to intensive care to call her parents. She finds a payphone and her mom, Becky, answers.
“Mom . . . it’s Mandy. Yea, I’m OK, but April’s not . . . She’s in the hospital . . . I don’t know . . . We were walking home . . . She passed out . . . I want to stay a little bit . . . MOM!”
“Mandy, Can I speak to your mom for a second. Thanks. Becky . . . Hi, this is Karen, Sandy’s mom . . . I’ve got the girls at the hospital . . . Yes . . . April had a seizure or something . . . She’s not conscious . . . Her mom and dad are here . . . Don’t worry. I’ll get Mandy back at a decent hour . . . Thanks . . . You too.” Karen handed the phone back to Mandy.
“Yes, Mom. Be back by eight thirty. Yes. It’s OK Mom; I have some cash.” Mandy hangs up the phone. They head towards intensive care. Everyone except April’s parents have to remain in the waiting room.
Mr. Wiley comes out and speaks to them. “Why don’t you catch some dinner. I’ll see if I can arrange for you to see April.”
“Is she any better?” Karen asks.
“Yes. She’s no longer comatose. She keeps passing in and out of consciousness.”
Karen touches his sleeve and they turn towards the hospital cafeteria.
“We’ll be back,” Karen says.
Sandy picks at her hot turkey platter without enthusiasm. Mandy shows little more interest in her salad. The cafeteria feels cold to Sandy. She wraps her arms around herself and tries to focus on her plate in the muted light. They return to the waiting room. Minutes tick by like an eternity. Nurses, patients, doctors, and janitors pass by, but the trio
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