Rescued by Angels

By Lizabeth S. Tucker

Kaitlyn O'Connor was washing her car when it happened. The neighbor's eight-year-old son, Toby, was out skateboarding. Kaitlyn's Great Dane, Rufus, took exception to the ratchety sounds of the board's wheels and lunged for Toby.

Unfortunately, the dog was leashed to the handle of her car door. When Rufus went after the child, the leash pulled taut, snapping into the middle of Kaitlyn's back and throwing her face first into the car.

Stunned by the pain in her nose and face, Kaitlyn tried to back up, forgetting about the leash. She fell backwards onto the ground, her leg twisted beneath her. The snap was audible over Rufus' barking and Toby's yelling.

"Ms. O'Connor, you okay?" Toby asked, holding his skateboard under one arm and his other arm slung around Rufus' neck. Now that the awful sound was gone, Rufus was calm again.

"No. Toby, go inside. Call the operator and tell her I need an ambulance. Hurry!"

Toby ran into Kaitlyn's house, heading for the avocado and gold kitchen. The only phone his neighbor had was on the wall. He carefully climbed on the bar stool and reached for the brand new push button telephone. He carefully pushed the button marked Operator.

"Operator. How may I help you?"

"My neighbor hurt herself. She wants an ambulance!" Toby was trying very hard not to cry.

"How is she hurt, son? Do you know?" The operator said soothingly.

"Rufus' leash knocked her down! Twice! And her leg made this horrible noise, like when my bat broke. And she's got a nose bleed."

"Okay, son. What's your address?"

Toby answered all the operator's questions, then slammed the phone down and ran outside. "Ms. O'Connor, they're gonna send the fire department," he yelled, screeching to a halt beside his neighbor.

"The fire department? Toby, there isn't any fire! Why didn't you ask for an ambulance like I said?" Kaitlyn wailed.

"The lady said that's what they do nowadays. I don't know why."

With Rufus lying on one side of her and Toby sitting on the other side, Kaitlyn tried to keep from crying from the pain. Just as she was about to give in, she heard the sirens of the fire department coming from down the street. Only it wasn't a fire engine. It looked like some type of service vehicle. Two men got out of the truck, but instead of coming to her, they busied themselves pulling boxes from the truck.

"Hey, can I get a little help here?" Kaitlyn called.

"That's what we're here for, ma'am," the dark haired fireman said as he set black and orange boxes next to the car. "Son, can you shut the water off?"

"Sure," Toby replied, running to the faucet.

"I wanted an ambulance. There isn't any fire here," Kaitlyn said fretfully.

"We're paramedics. My name is John Gage. This is my partner, Roy DeSoto. What's your name?"

She looked at the other man, whose pleasant features and warm smile reassured her that she was in safe hands. "Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn O'Connor. I've…ow…I've heard of them. You're sorta doctors or nurses, right?"

"We're more the eyes, ears and hands of the doctors. Can you tell me what happened?" Gage explained.

"Well, Rufus chased after Toby only he was tied to the car. And the leash caught me on the back of my legs and I fell into the car. I hit my nose. I think I broke it." Now the tears began. "Then I fell back, only my leg…I think I broke it…I'm sure I broke it!"

"I have to check you over. Hold as still as you can, okay?"

Kaitlyn tried to concentrate on John Gage's boyish good looks while his fingers gently probed her face and her nose. She bit down on her trembling lip, her fingers gripping into the grass below her.

The pain kept her from hearing what Gage told DeSoto. As her senses returned, she realized that she didn't understand much of what they said anyway. "Is it broken? My nose?"

"Afraid so. Pretty painful, huh?"

"That's an understatement. What about my leg?"

"Simple fracture. Roy's going to splint your leg. Stay patient just a little while longer and we'll be able to give you something for the pain, okay?"

Kaitlyn nodded. She grit her teeth in anticipation of the pain, but DeSoto was so gentle, she barely felt his fingers probing her leg. There was some more conversation over the orange telephone box, then she felt DeSoto carefully straightening her leg to splint. She cried out, the world turning white.

When she returned to herself, Kaitlyn found her hand held by Gage as DeSoto finished.

"The ambulance came while you were snoozing. Feel like going to the hospital?" Gage asked.

"Oh, please. I'll go wherever I can get something for this throbbing pain in my face." Kaitlyn sighed as she was lifted onto a stretcher and placed into the back of the ambulance.

"We'll be giving you something that should help take the edge off the pain," DeSoto said with a reassuring smile. "I'll be going in with you to the hospital."

"Oh, wait. Toby? Toby!" Kaitlyn called from the ambulance.

"I'm here, Ms. O'Connor." The boy pushed under DeSoto's arm to stick his head in the ambulance.

"Can you put Rufus in the back yard, Toby? And ask your mother to come see me at the hospital. I'll probably need a ride home, but I don't know when. Oh, and I need my purse. It's on the front table. It's got my insurance information in my wallet. Run get it for me, okay?"

"Hang on," and Toby was off again. He quickly returned with a red carpet bag. Forced to search by feel as her eyes were watering heavily, Kaitlyn took the house keys out and handed them to the young boy. "Lock the house, then give your mother the keys. Ask if you can take care of Rufus until I get home. If she won't let you, call Dr. Tomkins at the vet's, okay?"

"Kaitlyn, we have to be going. I think Toby can handle things here and Johnny will help. Right, Johnny?"

"Of course I will. I'll walk over to Toby's house with him and explain everything to his mother. Will that be alright?"

"Oh, would you? Thank you. Thank you both." Kaitlyn started crying again. "You're both angels."

"Thank you, but we're just doing our job," Gage replied, DeSoto agreeing with a nod.

And to Kaitlyn's amazement, she realized they weren't being falsely modest. It was just what they did and who they were. She was glad she had the opportunity to see them in action, although she would've preferred not to be the patient. "Well, I think you guys are great," she said to DeSoto as Gage shut the ambulance door. Kaitlyn heard two thumps on the door, then the ambulance was moving. She wouldn't soon forget this day.

The End

Nov. 2003

Note: Suggested by Viv Wey who wanted a story from the POV of the patient.