The doctor introduces himself and answers, “Mr. Waters’s vitals are about the same as yesterday. He’s still with us, but there aren’t any signs of him coming around anytime soon. We tried to awaken him from the coma this morning but we had no success. Because his breathing has slowed down, we’re keeping him on oxygen, so don’t be alarmed when you see the ventilator. Let’s just hope he progresses as time goes on. I’m sorry I can’t give you better news.”
“So what does this mean? What do we do now?” Amelia probes.
He sits down next to her and puts his hand on top of hers. “It’s possible you’ll have some decisions to make in the near future. The fact that he made it through the night is a plus, however, with his breathing slowing down it doesn’t look good. All we can do is wait it out and hope he starts to come around soon. He may wake up at any moment, but in cases like these, I tell the family’s to not get their hopes up too high. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you what you want to hear but I will say that Mr. Waters is strong.”
Amelia puts her hands over her face and sobs. The doctor puts his hand on her shoulder and says calmly, “It’s going to be okay. No decisions need to be made right this second and never give up hope.”
Amelia lifts her head. “I will never give up on my father. Just keep him alive. He can sleep as long as he wants,” she says.
“Yes, Doctor, even though Amelia is underage, I will make the final decision to keep him alive. You have my consent to do whatever you need to help him get better. I’ll sign the forms.”
Of course she’s thinking rationally now, since this whole damn thing is her fault to begin with.
“Great. We usually keep comatose patients for a few months to see if there are any changes, and then with your permission we transfer them out to an appropriate facility nearby. The nurse will give you all the details.”
“Thank you so much,” Amelia whispers as she shakes his hand.
“You’re welcome. You can go see him now, but one at a time,” he warns as he walks away.
Amelia stands up to go first, trying to think of the right words to say to her dad. Before she leaves, Leona grabs her arm and says, “Make sure you say all you need to say and make it quick.”