|Dr. Matthews walked hurriedly down the corridor towards Inpatient Admissions. As he turned the corner, he could hear a woman’s voice yelling.|
“I’m not sitting down until I find out about my husband! If you don’t allow me to see my husband, I’ll sue this hospital and fire every one of you on staff!”
He now understood why the nurse in admissions requested he come as soon as possible.
He spoke as he approached Katherine.
“Yes, I’m Katherine Schaeffer! Who are you?”
Dr. Matthews didn’t want to alarm Katherine, but he needed to get her to focus on the urgency of her husband's condition instead of the nurse who she was shouting at.
“I’m the doctor who initially treated your husband in ER before he was admitted into surgery. May I speak with you about your husband's condition?”
Katherine looked into the eyes of the doctor, sensing the need to be quiet and listen for a moment. Everything inside made her feel like an erupting volcano, but she realized that would not help Andrew or the medical staff working to save his life.
“What is my husband’s condition doctor? Will he live?"
“Please come with me Mrs. Schaeffer. After I brief you on your husband’s condition, I will take you to the waiting area outside of surgery.”
Dr. Matthews led Katherine into a small room next to the chapel and began to explain the extent of the injuries Andrew sustained. As she stood silently listening, it was as if Dr. Matthews was speaking a foreign language. She heard certain words but most of what was said, sounded like gibberish.
“Your husband has suffered a serious head trauma and it was necessary to relieve the cranial pressure to his brain. In addition he has a punctured right lung, several broken ribs, a cracked vertebrae to his spine, both legs were badly broken and his left leg may require amputation due to the loss of blood flow. An emergency splenectomy was necessary due to the laceration and damage to his spleen. We are doing everything possible at this time to save your husband’s life. I realize hearing all this is unsettling and I’m not trying to cause you any unnecessary stress but until he is out of surgery, I cannot give you a prognosis on his condition. What I will tell you is that if he survives surgery, his recovery will be a long and difficult one. He will need your love, support, encouragement and strength. Do you have any questions for me Mrs. Schaeffer?”
There was finally a pause that somehow gave Katherine some momentary relief, but then everything the doctor said began stirring the anxiety within her again.
“Is my husband going to live Dr. Matthews?”
“As I have indicated Mrs. Schaeffer, until he comes out of surgery, I just cannot say at this time. If you would like, I could have someone here at the hospital offer you some counseling. We also have clergy staff along with volunteers who are willing to pray for patients and family members.”
Katherine almost broke into a hysterical laughter at the thought of someone praying for Andrew. Andrew’s father was a retired pastor. He always thought Andrew would join him in ministry, but something disillusioned Andrew years ago, and he would never discuss the reasons with anyone; not his father, mother or sister knew what changed in his life. There were instances when Katherine thought he would share the reasons with her, but Andrew would never speak about his life as a Christian. No matter who invited Andrew to church service, he would dismiss the thought with distain.
She decided to call his parents, she needed them now. They had always been supportive of her since her parents died so many years ago.
“Doctor, I need to call Andrew’s parents.”
“One of the officers got their contact information and they are on the way to the hospital now.”
As he spoke, an incoming text arrived on his cell. He read the message and then looked at Katherine.
“Your husband's parents have arrived here. Would you like me to bring them here?”
Katherine, felt what seemed like millions of emotions pouring out of her. She bolted from the room, running to the man and woman standing in the corridor. When Andrew’s mother turned and saw Katherine, her arms instinctively spread open to embrace her. Katherine seemed to fling herself into the arms of her mother-in-law.
“Katherine, the policemen gave us the news, have you learned anything about Andrew’s condition?”
“All I know is that he is in surgery and his injuries were extensive.”
Dr. Schaeffer placed his arms around Katherine and his wife. His voice was soft and reassuring as he spoke to them.
“Let’s find a quiet place to sit, talk and pray. We’ll stay here and wait until we get some information on his condition.”
He led them through the doors of the chapel. Katherine felt uneasiness as she entered realizing how long it had been since she even thought about church.
"I'm so afraid Dr. Schaeffer. What will I do if Andrew..."
She looked into his brown eyes, knowing she could not allow herself to even say the word. Somehow, his eyes revealed that he understood her doubts and fears.
"My child, we have nothing to fear. I trust God with my son's life. I believe he will live and not die!"
His words were filled with the confident years of a life characterized by faith. Katherine found a measure of hope and peace in his eyes. As they sat down, Andrew's mother held Katherine's hand while Dr. Schaeffer began to pray.
"Almighty God and Father, we your servants call upon You in the name of Jesus Christ our Eternal Redeemer..."
Short story by MTJ
|Note: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte).||Note: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte).|