Hey guys. I'm back, hopefully for good this time. I don't know about you'll but I'm ready for the new season to start. This chapter is very loaded with medical jargon. Bear with me. The action is going to pick up soon.
Waiting in the ambulance bay Melie hugged her arms around herself. She had never heard that kind of fear from Don before. Her big, strong husband did not allow himself to break down like that, and the fact that he had terrified her.
In her mind she reviewed the symptoms she would most likely see in the patient, adding in the small amount of information Don had been able to give her.
"Hey girl, you okay?" Madison asked as she came up behind her friend.
Melie shrugged, wrapping her arms tighter around herself. "What if it's really bad? They could be coding him right now and we're just standing here." She cried.
Madison circled her arms around her friend, adding her warmth. "You heard the ambulance call. They've administered oxygen and morphine. Pains down, patient is breathing easier and vitals are stable." She reminded her.
The small girl sighed deeply as logic took over. "I know. Logically I can think like that, but Don was so terrified. I can't imagine what this is doing to him."
"You're still on Trauma so I moved some of my patients around. He can go into room thirty." Maddie said as the ambulance pulled into the bay. Melie gave her friend a hug before stepping up to the ambulance.
The paramedic flashed her a smile as he unloaded the patient. "What service. Must be a slow day in the ER." He teased her.
She ignored him as she looked over the patient. She was relieved to find him sitting up and looking disgruntled. "Hello Mr. Eppes. How are you feeling?"
He looked at her curiously. "Donnie, he called you, told you I was coming?"
Melie suppressed a smile. "Yes sir. He was very worried."
Alan scoffed. "Donnie worries too much. Always has."
She grinned outright this time. "You know your son very well." She said as she walked with the stretcher to the room. Behind her she could here the paramedic giving report to Madison.
"Enough to know that as soon as he gets here he'll be banging down the doors to get to me." He told her.
"I think I can handle him." She replied laughing.
Alan gave her a speculative look. "Have you met my Donnie?" He asked. He batted the EMTs' hands away as they tried to pull him over to the bed. "I can do it myself. I'm not dead." He barked.
Melie waved the younger men away, repositioning the IV tubing as he moved. "I've met him in the course of his work." She admitted.
Alan looked at her slyly. "He's single you know."
She raised her eyebrows. "Really? I heard he was in a serious relationship." She ignored the elbow Maddie aimed at her back.
"Okay Mr. Epps." Madison pushed forward. "What happened today?" She asked as she hooked him up to the monitor.
He shrugged self consciously. "I had pain here and here." He pointed to his chest and shoulder. "And I couldn't breathe."
She nodded filing the information away. "What time did this start?"
He shifted uneasily. "Pretty much all day." He hunched his shoulders under the the stare of both girls. "It would come and go." He defended himself.
"Did the pain ever go anywhere else?" Melie asked as she flushed his IV.
"No, no. I just couldn't breathe."
"Did you get sick to your stomach? Break out in a sweat?" She asked moving on to adjust his oxygen.
He nodded as Maddie pointed to his forehead. "What happened here?" She asked indicating the abrasion above his eye.
"Lost my balance is all. Got too hot." He blustered.
The two girls exchanged looks before Melie leaned down to stare him in the eye. "Tell me the truth. How long have you been having these kinds of pains?"
"A couple weeks now." He admitted. "But don't tell Donnie. It'll just make him angry."
She was shaking her head at him when one of the techs stuck his head in the door. "Melie, you have a visitor out in the lobby."
She smiled her thanks before exchanging a look with Madison.
Eric was waiting for her outside the room. "Tall, dark, and handsome out there is causing quite a fuss." He informed her, his eyes laughing.
She rolled her eyes back at him. "Just remember, tall, dark ,and handsome is mine." She indicated the room. "Do me a favor and get an EKG for Maddie." She requested before heading for the ER Lobby.
"My father was just brought in by ambulance. I want to know how he's doing?" Don demanded, slapping the desk.
"Sir, I told you that the nurses have to get him settled, preform their assessment and then they'll be out to get you." The receptionist said patiently. Her hand hovered over the security button.
Don leaned over the desk in intimidation, causing her to shrink back. "I want to talk to Melie right now." He demanded harshly.
David pulled him back from the wide eyed clerk as Colby smiled charmingly at her. "You'll have to excuse him. It's been a very bad day." He explained.
Melie stepped through the door as the security guard came rushing up. She smiled at the older man. "It's okay." She informed him. She indicated the pacing Don. "I can handle him. I have experience in that area."
The guard shifted uneasily as he took in Don's angry face and Colby's size. "I'll be sitting right here if you need me." He instructed her as he moved behind the receptionist's desk.
She nodded as she walked over to Don, stepping in front of him to stop his pacing. "Calm down." She admonished him gently. She reached for his hand, caught sight of the other three agents and pulled back at the last minute. "He's fine. He's not having any pain right now."
Shaking in relief he slumped into a chair, pulling her down and cuddling her in his lap.
"Don." She squirmed as Colby and David exchanged a look. "Your team is watching us." She whispered angrily.
"Megan already knows and I'm sure the other two suspect." He waved it away. "My dad's going to be okay?"
"They know we're married?" She exclaimed, turning to them with a shocked expression.
Megan began laughing as Don groaned. "Well they didn't know that much." He said dryly. He held up a hand to ward off Colby's remarks. "Is my dad going to be okay?" He asked again.
"I think I can answer that." Maddie said as she came into the lobby. "Hi, I'm Madison. Melie's best friend." She introduced herself to the three FBI agents before aiming a look in Melie's direction. "Very professional."
Melie scrambled out of her husband's lap while giving her friend a dirty look.
"Mr. Epps is feeling fine at the moment. His vitals are stable and his EKG does not show any sign of a heart attack. But because he's been having this pain for a while we're going to be doing some lab work, x ray's and a CT."
"How long has he been having this pain?" Don demanded at the same time Melie asked "What CT?"
"Doc Johnson wants to rule out PE." Maddie answered her friend before turning to the group. "Do you want to go see him?" She asked brightly.
"What's a PE?" Colby whispered as they followed her through the doors.
"A blood clot in the lung." Melie answered. "They're just being cautious." She explained, standing back as Don entered his father's room.
"Hey Dad, how are you feeling?" Don asked as he quickly ran down what he saw. His dad sitting up in bed dressed in a hospital gown, oxygen tube in his nose. Various wires stuck to his chest going up to a monitor on the wall. IV in right hand. Tool box looking cart to the side of the bed with another large monitor on top.
"I'm fine Donnie. Fine." His dad waved his concern away. "Come in, come in." He called to the rest of the group.
Megan pulled Melie in with her as she walked to the bedside. "Mr. Epps have you met Melie yet?" She asked brightly.
The younger girl saw Colby opening his mouth and sent her elbow into his ribs. "Do you want to give him a heart attack?" She whispered angrily.
"She met me in the ambulance." The older man was saying. He turned to his son. "She's very pretty." He exclaimed in a stage whisper.
Don smiled but kept his mouth shut.
"She told me you were in a serious relationship." He continued.
"I said it was a rumor going around." Melie clarified, blushing.
"Yeah, well that's something we'll talk about later. When you're heart can take it." Don shot a look at his wife.
At that moment the Trauma response sounded overhead. "That's me." Melie explained almost gratefully. "I'll check in with you in a little bit." She told Don.
Once upstairs in the trauma bay she quickly donned a gown and mask. "What do we have coming in?" She asked the respiratory therapist.
"All I heard was multiple trauma."
Melie pursed her lips as she sought out the doctor. "Car accident?"
"Not as far as we know." He answered as he dragged out an airway tray. "They couldn't get her intubated. Too much trauma."
"Think we're going to have to crike her?" She asked referring to the temporary trach used in emergency situations.
"Get it down just in case."
"Helicopter's here." The tech called through the door.
Melie rushed about getting the various trays set up. Within minutes the patient was being rolled through the door. Everyone caught their breath as the blanket was pulled back and they got their first glimpse of the patient. The documentation nurse rushed to document all the injuries.
There was a long gap at the top of her head, causing blood to have matted her hair. Her face showed signs of abuse, her right eye bruised and swollen shut, her nose broken and bleeding. Her neck was swollen and discolored, showing evidence of being strangled. She had crude designs carved into his breasts. Her right arm was broken in several places and the fingers of her left hand were severed in places. Her stomach showed multiple bruising and and obvious broken ribs. There was bruising and blood from between her legs indicating rape. Both ankles were broken and her right knee was dislocated.
The flight medics slid her into the trauma stretcher. "We lost her pulse ten minutes ago en route. Administered two epi and one atropine with no effect. CPR in progress. Asystole on monitor." he recited as he helped Melie switch over monitors.
"Asystole. No pulse. Continue CPR." Melie instructed, nodding to the tech. She moved up to the neck to assist with ventilation. The doctor was attempting to visualize the vocal cords with the largynscope.
"Too much swelling. We're going to have to crike her." He turned to his tray while Melie began to cleanse the area.
"Is that wire?" She asked in alarm, noticing the thin piece of metal wrapped around the patient's neck.
The flight medic spoke up. "She was wired to a pole instead of being tied up." He explained. Melie looked over at him in horror as a second tech rushed over with wire cutters.
"Cut it directly in the middle. After you get if off place it in a bag for evidence." The doctor instructed, urging them to hurry.
Within two minutes they had the wire off, the neck prepped and the trach inserted. "She's a lot easier to bag." The respiratory therapist said as she ventilated the patient.
"Give one amp epi and let's see if she has a pulse." The doctor advised..
Melie administered the medication before motioning for the tech to stop CPR. "Still asystole on the monitor." She called.
The doctor looked at the clock. "What kind of rhythm did you have when you picked her up?" He asked the medics.
"Junctional with a heart rate of 20." He answered.
"She's been flat lined at least fifteen minutes." He sighed. "Time of death 1528."
"Any idea who she is?" Melie asked as she stopped the IV.
The medic shrugged. "No idea but one of the cops thought she matched the description of an FBI agent's missing sister."