“What do you mean you’re sorry?!” Amelia screams. Her heart is thumping so loud she can hear it in her ears, and her chest is heaving. Finally, she stands with wobbly legs and mutters, “He’s dead, isn’t he?”
The surgeon looks down and says, “Your father is in critical condition. We were able to remove the bullets, but he lost so much blood that he flat-lined on us twice. We had to give him two pints of blood. He also had two seizures while we were operating.”
“Oh no,” Amelia replies, in shock. She feels a rush of dizziness and falls back into her chair.
“Hey, are you okay?” He tries to catch her.
“I—I think so,” she responds. She has so many questions, but can’t express what she needs to say.
“So how is he now? Is he awake? Are we allowed to go see him?” Leona probes.
“He’s stable for the moment. However, because of the amount of blood loss, seizures, and brain injury, we had to put him into a medically induced coma to allow some of the swelling in his brain to go down and permit us to operate. But I don’t like the way his vitals are looking, and we’re worried that he won’t make it through the night. If he survives, we’ll wake him tomorrow morning and monitor his brain function. The next twenty-four hours are critical. Worst case scenario, you need to prepare yourselves to make some decisions that aren’t the easiest to make.”
“I’m confused, he had a brain injury?” Leona asks.
He fingers through the chart. “Yes, Mr. Waters had massive swelling on the brain. In the midst of what happened, he must have hit his head at some point.”
“If he takes a turn for the worst, you can still save him, right? He could come out of this okay, can’t he?” Amelia tearfully asks.
“We will do everything we can. But, please understand that Mr. Waters is in very bad shape at the moment. If his condition worsens by morning, the chances of him coming out okay are very slim. The longer he stays unconscious, the worse his results could be. Let’s just hope he makes it through.”
“What should we do, Doctor?” Leona asks.
“I don’t want to sound harsh…but…at this point, all you can do is pray. It’s all up to Mr. Waters now. I will keep you all posted.”
He strolls away with a worried look on his face. Amelia crosses her arms, feeling lost and alone. She knows if doctors are worried, then the outcome is never good. Leona puts her hands over her face and starts to cry. Amelia contemplates comforting her but opts to stay put. Learning her father is still alive gives her hope that maybe things will change for the better, even though the coma situation has thrown them all for a loop.