Dunes can be Complicated
The rescue special ops team were out on a training exercise in the sand dunes with the new ATV's when Heidi, Jordan, Lara, lachie and dean came across a buggy crash.
"Rescue 1 portable to rescue base, Vince it just became real." Dean stated as Jordan extinguished the fire.
"What have we got?" Vince asked.
"Single occupant, male about 15-16 years of age. Non-responsive." Heidi responded
"Copy that." Vince said, "Rescue 4 portable, and chase you there?" Vince asked.
Chase was initially the 'patient' for the exercise; he was lying in the sand. "Yeah rescue base, I'm on my way there now." Chase said as he put his helmet on and took off on his motorbike. He was about 10 minutes away from the crash site when his bike hit a rock, the front wheel quivered. "Shit!" chase yelled as he tried to regain control. His attempts were futile as chase was flung over the handlebars; he rolled several times along the sand, his head smashing into the ground rendering him unconscious. His bike was wrecked.
After removing part of the roof of the buggy Lara jumped in to do an assessment. "Airways clear, spontaneous breaths pulse is weak, pupils sluggish." She said. "He's coming to" she added as the boy regained consciousness.
Heidi and Lara secured the boy as lachie and dean cut away at the buggy so they could get the boy out; Jordan was fetching the spine board.
"He's free" lachie called as Jordan and dean slipped him onto the spinal board.
"Rescue 1 to rescue 2, chase?" lachie asked slightly concerned, chase should have been on site already.
Upon no reply he tried again as Lara Jordan and Heidi drove the patient to the car park to meet the ambulance. "Chase? Do you copy?"
"Dean, chase isn't replying on radio, he should have been here ages ago." Lachie said concerned.
"Rescue 1 to rescue base, Lara, Jordan and Heidi are on the way out with the patient, lachie and I are going to go look for chase, he isn't responding to the radio." Dean explained as he and lachie drove of on the ATV. After driving around looking for chase for 15 minutes something caught their eye. Lachie got off the ATV to investigate while dean kept looking.
Lachie was worried and his concern peaked when he saw broken parts of a bike. "Dean gets over here!" lachie called into his radio, dean was soon right beside him,
"Shit" dean said.
Both lachie and dean walked on finding the odd debris, soon the found the bike.
"Chase?" dean called, looking around, lachie did the same.
A glint of sun shun against chase's helmet, this caught deans eye. "Chase!" dean yelled running down the sand to his brother, lachie hot on his heels.
"Oh god." Lachie stated when he saw him. Chase's leg was bent out at an angle, obviously broken; his arm was not much different. Dean ran back to the ATV to get first aid gear.
"Chase can you hear me?" lachie asked. He didn't respond. Lachie gently removed his helmet, careful not to move his neck. Chase had a laceration to his forehead a trail of blood followed down his face.
"Rescue 1 to rescue base. We've found chase." dean told Vince as he returned to lachie with the equipment.
"Is he okay?" Vince asked.
"He's crashed his bike, it doesn't look good, and can we get a chopper?" Dean informed his boss
Vince made some quick calls and radioed dean back. "Helo will be there in 10"
"Thanks." Dean said before turning his attention back to chase.
"Chopper will be 10 minutes, let's get him ready." Dean told lachie before securing chase's neck in a cervical collar. Dean by his head and lachie at his legs they rolled him on the side and back down onto a spinal board.
"You will be alright chasie." Lachie stated, patting his brother's hand.
The helicopter soon arrives and they loaded chase in, lachie climbed in with his while dean drove the ATV back to the car park.
IN THE CHOPPER:
"What have we got?" the flight medic asked lachie.
"Male, 24 years old was in a motorbike accident. I'm his brother." lachie informed him. The medic placed an oxygen mask over chase's face and hooked him up to an IV.
5 minutes later they arrived at the hospital. Chase was taken into a room and lachie was left out side, he waited while the doctors checked over his baby brother. A high-pitched beeping pulled lachie from his thoughts, he ran into the room and stood as close as he could get to chase.
"B.P dropping, vitals unstable" he heard. "Abdo is rigid. We need to get him to theatre now!" another doctor called.
"What's going on?" lachie asked worried as chase was wheeled out of the room.
"Internal bleeding, he's been taken to surgery, you can wait here for him if you like." She said before leaving the room. Lachie pulled out his mobile and called dean.
"Hey lach. I'm on my way" dean told him before asking "how is he?"
"Not so good" lachie sighed "he is still unconscious and they've taken him to theatre, internal bleeding." He explained
Dean sighed. "I'll be there in 5 lachie." Dean said before ending the call.
Dean arrived and asked the lady at the desk where to find lachie, he found his way to the room and found lachie in a chair, his head in his hands.
"Lach? You okay?" dean asked concerned.
Lachie looked up upon hearing deans voice, he nodded his head. "I'm worried about him."
"I know lach, me too. He's tough he will be alright." Dean told him placing a reassuring hand on his arm.
Almost two hours later the doctors returned to the room, wheeling chase's bed in. the older brother stood.
"how is he?" dean asked looking over at chase, he was lying flat on the bed, his neck was in a collar still, his left arm and right leg were in a cast and his ribs were bandaged.
"Well, your brother has broken both his arm and leg, as you can see they've been put in casts, he has 3 broken ribs and the laceration on his head has being stitched." The doctor explained, pausing to allow the brothers to understand.
"What about his back?" lachie asked concerned. "Why has he still got the brace on?"
"He has suffered what we call a 'spinal contusion.' Basically his spine is badly bruised not severed." He explained, before he could continue dean interrupted him.
"But it will heal, right?" dean asked.
"We won't know if there is any loss of movement or feeling until he wakes. However if there is I assure you most of the time its only temporary, caused by inflammation." the doctor told the brothers. "I'll leave you with your brother, he should wake up soon, press the call button when he does and I'll be back to asses him." He said before leaving the room
Both dean and lachie took a seat by chase's bed side, lachie held onto chase's good hand.
"Bloody hell" lachie sighed.
"He will be alright lach" dean reassured him.
"I don't know dean. He's never been hurt this bad." Lachie stated. "What if he can't …" dean cut him off.
"Don't think like that lachie, he will be okay." Dean said as he squeezed lachie's shoulder reassuringly.
A few minutes later dean's mobile rang, he stepped out the room to answer it.
"Hi dean, it's lara. How is chase?" she asked
"He is back from surgery, broken leg, arm and ribs. And he's got a spinal contusion, we don't know if there is any loss of movement until he wakes up." Dean told her.
"Shit, I hope he will be alright." She said, "How are you and lachie?" she added.
Dean sighed. "He's never been hurt this bad before Lara." Dean said saddened.
"He will pull through, I've got to go we have a call out, Michelle said to tell you and lach to take some time and stay with chasie, give him our love when he wakes up."
"We will, thank Michelle for us. Bye lara." Dean said before returning to the room. Dean sat back next to lachie; they both watched their baby brother and waited for him to wake. 20 minutes later Dean was lightly sleeping in a chair, lachie had tried but couldn't sleep and he wanted to be awake in case chase woke.
Chase blinked his eyes, he tried to move his head, it was held in place by something, he started to panic and his breathing increased. Lachie felt the hand he was holding twitch a bit, he looked over and noticed chases distress, and he stood over chase so he could see him.
"Chase calm down, you alright." He reassured him. Chase tried to turn his head again. "Don't move your head buddy." Lach said as he pressed the 'call' button to summon the doctor.
Dean woke up to the commotion and stood on the other side of chase. "You okay chasie?" he asked.
"Yeah." He said simply.
The doctor walked into the room and dean stepped back to give him room.
"It's good to see your awake, Mr Gallagher." The doctor said. "Are you in any pain?"
"Ribs a bit sore." Chase said. "Why can't I move my head?" chase asked, fear evident in his voice. Lachie caressed chases head in his hand, rubbing his thumb across his hair comfortingly.
"You were in an accident. Do you remember that?" the doc asked
"Yeah. I do." Chase said slowly.
"Okay, well your spine was injured in the crash, you've suffered what we call a "spinal contusion" he told chase.
"Wha… what does that mean?" chase asked Chase's eyes were full of fear; he looked up at lachie and Dean. Dean saw how scared his baby brother was. "Its okay chase." dean reassured him
"It means that your spine was bruised. Now that you're awake we have to asses to what extent the injury is and then treat you accordingly." The doctor said. "I'll go and fetch the equipment and I will return shortly." He told the brothers before leaving the room.
He soon returned with some tools and he pulled the blanket from chase's feet and raised it to his knees.
"Alright chase, can you wiggle your toes for me?" the doctor asked. Dean and lachie looked at chase's feet, nothing moved.
"Alright" the doctor said aloud before grabbing one of the 'tools', he ran it down chase's lower leg. "Can you feel that?" he asked.
"N...no…" chase said, his voice quivering as the realisation came to mind, he moved his eyes to look at his brothers, and they looked worried, staring at his legs. Tears began to well in chase's eyes.
The doctor did a few more things before walking in view of chase.
"Mr Gallagher, it appears that you have neither movement nor feeling in either of your legs." The doctor said. "Now this type of injury is common and most people do recover fully in a few days, but it can also be permanent. Only time can tell." The doctor told chase, his pager went off and he excused himself from the room.
Chase's eyes were closed; dean knew he was trying not to cry, despite his best efforts tears rolled down his face.
"Oh chasie." Dean said as he wiped the tears away with the pad of his thumb.
"It will be okay." Lachie added.
"WH…what am I goin..ng to do…?" chase said his voice cracking as emotion took hold.
"You heard, most of the time it goes away." Dean reassured him
"But .. .wha..t if it d…doesn't?" he said, "ill h…have to quit re..scue"
"You won't have to, I promise. You trust me right?" lachie said
"Yeah" chase said looking at his brother.
"Then believe me. You will get better." Lachie promised. The boys sat with chase until he fell asleep again and lachie slipped out of the room to make a call, dean stayed with chase.
"Lara, its lachie." He said
"Hi lach, is everything okay? How's chase?" she asked.
"He's awake; the doctors come in and assessed his spinal injury." Lachie said.
"And?" Lara asked cautiously
"He...he can't feel his legs…" lachie said sadly. "The doc thinks it'd only temporary but only time will tell."
"Oh god…" lara said. "I'll tell Michelle, give him all our love, we will come in tomorrow." She promised.
"I will thanks." Lachie said before ending the call. When lachie returned to the room he was glad to see that chase had fallen asleep Dean had also, he took a seat in the other chair and did the same.
The following morning chase awoke to his older brothers softly talking to one another, he smiled.
"Hi" he said. Dean and lachie stepped into view.
"Hey chasie." Lachie said.
"How are you doing?" dean asked.
Chase took a moment to consider his answer, he didn't really know how he felt about his current predicament but he knew his brothers would help him get through it.
"Okay I guess." He replied. "Lachie, pinch my leg." He told him.
"Uhh… okay" lachie said as he did what was asked.
Chase sighed. "I still can't feel anything." He said, he looked close to tears again, dean jumped in.
"You will chase, give it a bit of time you'll see." Dean told him. "Do you want some breakfast?"
"Yeah, thanks." Chase said. Dean handed lachie the bowl of fruit salad the nurse had brought in before leaving to room to get something for lachie and himself, lachie would stab a small piece of fruit and gave the fork to chase's good hand , it was awkward to eat but chase managed. Dean soon returned, he handed lachie a sandwich.
"Lara and the team want to come by today, that okay chase?" dean asked, he didn't want to overwhelm his little brother with all of his friends.
"Yeah, that would be nice." Chase said with a small smile.
"Cool, I'll let them know." Dean said before making the call.
"Lach… how long do I have to stay like this for?" chase asked looking towards his brother.
"Couple of days, hopefully not too long." Lachie told him. "Why, you okay?" he asked concerned.
"Yeah, I'm fine, just uncomfortable."
"Okay, are you in any pain?" lach asked.
"A little, it's alright." Chase reassured him. "I want to go home lach." Chase sighed.
"I know buddy, you will soon, dean and I will stay with you until then, yeah?"
A couple of hours later the Gallagher trio were talking when there was a knock at the door, lachie looked up.
"Hey guys, come in." he told the team.
"Hey chasie" Heidi said as he placed a kiss to his cheek.
"Hey heid" chase smiled.
"How are you?" Lara asked.
"Have been better." Chase replied.
"You'll be back up and kicking before you knows it chasie boy." Jordan told his mate.
"Yeah" chase agreed with a smile.
Lara's phone rang. "Guys call out, sorry chase. We will see you soon." She announced before the team made for the latest rescue.
The following day the doctor returned to the room.
"Good afternoon boys." He greeted lachie and dean. "Chase was going to take you down for a CT scan on your spine to see how things are going." He told chase.
"okay." Chase agreed before he was wheeled out of the room, leaving his older brothers to wait.
30 minutes later they returned.
"Well the scans were good" the doctor told them all. "The swelling around the spinal column has reduced and things are looking good for now. Ill repeat the test we did when you woke up chase to see if there is any improvement." He said before leaving the room. He soon returned with the same tools as before.
"Okay chase, this is just the same as the other day, alright." The doctor said.
"Can you wiggle your toes?" He asked and chase tried, they slightly bended...
"Did they move?" chase asked,
"Yeah mate, just a little bit but they moved." Lachie said smiling.
"That's really good chase. Tell me if you can feel this." the doctor said before he ran the tool along his leg.
"Not really, no" chase sighed.
"That's alright, you've got slight movement back in your toes so that's a positive sign, in a few more days you might have feeling back too." the doctor reassured him. "I'll be back to see you tomorrow." He said before leaving the boys alone.
"See chase, it will get better." Dean said as he ruffled his hair.
"yeah." Chase said yawning.
"Go to sleep, we will be here when you wake up kiddo." Lachie told him as he pulled the blankets up. Dean and lachie got as comfterble as possible in the chairs and soon the trio drifted to sleep.
Morning came around quickly, lachie was first to wake a slipped out of the room to get some coffee and food.
Back in the room dean woke, soon followed by chase.
"hey." Dean said as he rose from the chair and stretched. "You alright?" he asked
"Hey, yeah." Chase said, his broken ribs twinged and he grimaced.
"You okay?" dean asked concerned.
"Yeah, ribs just twinged that's all." Chase answered as lachie returned to the room.
"Hey chasie boy" lach said as he handed dean a coffee and took a seat.
"Hi lachie." Chase smiled at the nickname
"Dean, do me a favour?" chase asked his eldest brother.
"Sure, what's up?"
"I want you to pinch my leg. Doc said it might be good now, right?" chase enquired
"He said it might, but it may not be chase. I'll do it if you want but just know even if you can't feel it doesn't mean it won't heal." Dean explained, chase understood.
Dean pinched the skin on chases shin; chase took a deep breath and waited. He was hoping he would feel something, he couldn't leave rescue it was his life.
Chase smiled and laughed incredulously. "I…I felt that." He told them
"See chasie, I told you it would get better." Lachie told him as he ruffled his hair. "I'll get the doctor to come in for you, okay?" lachie said before walking out.
The doctor returned with lachie and took chase for another scan and x-ray's they soon came back to talk with dean and lachie.
"Well Mr Gallagher, it seems that the swelling has reduced significantly, the injury is essentially healed"
"Great! Can I go home then?" chase asked.
"We would like to keep you here for another 48 hours but as both your brothers are trained paramedics i am happy to allow you to leave into their care tomorrow." The doctor informed a rather happy chase. "and we can take the spinal collar off, however you will be confined to a wheel chair for 4-6 weeks as both your arm and leg are broken you won't be able to use crutches, "
"Thanks doc" chase said as the collar was removed. "Lach. Sit me up a little, please?" he asked, lachie obliged and raised the bed head a bit and chase thanked him, the doctor left the room.
"Hey dean, when can I go back to work?" chase asked
Dean chuckled, "not for a few weeks kiddo"
"But…I'll be bored at home alone, can't I just help Michelle or Vince" he held up his casted arm. "See dean left arm… I can still write." Chase informed his brother with a smirk.
"And how do you think you're getting up the stairs." Lachie asked facetiously
"Well you're the tall one, you can carry me up and dean can bring up the chair?"
"I suppose that could work, but if you feel bad or tired, tell us and we will take you home okay."
"Yes, okay." Chase agreed. "Hey guys…?"
"Yeah chasie?" lachie asked.
"Thank you." Chase said looking his brother in the eye. "For everything."
"That's what was here for chase." dean told him as he lent in to give him a hug.
"And you're welcome." Lachie added before also giving chases a hug.
"Guys, go home tonight, get a proper sleep. Please?" chase said "but make sure you come bail me out of here in the morning!" chase added with a smirk.
"Thanks chase, I'm still going to stay though." Lachie said as he took a seat in the chair again.
"If you're sure chase? I might go see Lara and the team." Dean said
"I'm sure, tell them I said hi." Chase smiled as dean left.
Lachie and chase sat talking for a couple of hours before they both drifted off to sleep.
Dean left the hospital and drove to Lara's house. He walked up the path and lightly knocked on her door.
"Hey dean, come in." she said, dean followed her into the lounge room. "What's up?" she asked as she grabbed to beers and handed one to dean as they took a seat on the couch.
"Chase is doing a lot better" dean smiled. "His injury is basically healed and he can move his legs again." Dean explained.
"That's great!" Lara exclaimed. "So he will be able to come back to rescue?"
"Yep" dean smiled. "I'm relieved he can, if he had to quit I don't know how he would cope." Dean sighed.
"It's getting late, would you like to stay the night?" Lara asked, dean shook his head.
"Thanks, but I don't want to invade. I should properly get going." Dean said
"Alright, I'll see you soon" Lara said as she walked him to the door. "Thanks for telling me about chase, I'm really glad he is okay."
"Me too, and thanks again." Dean said as he made his way to his car to drive home.
Chase woke the next morning to the rays of sunshine protruding through the thin hospital curtains. He sat up looked to the side to see lachie snoring softly in the chair, he chose to leave him to sleep some more.
Almost an hour later Lachie woke up and saw chase was already awake.
"Morning, you alright?" lachie asked as he stretched.
"Yeah I'm good, can we go home now?" chase asked.
"Eager to leave I see." Lachie laughed, before leaving the room to get the discharge papers, he returned and chase sighed them.
"Here's your clothes" lachie said as he went to return the papers to the nurse and to call dean to pick them up.
When dean arrived he walked into the room to see chase sitting in bed and lachie wheeling himself around the hospital room in chases wheelchair. Dean rolled his eyes and slapped lachie playfully over the back of the head. Chase laughed lightly
"Hey!" lachie complained as he turned around to see dean. "Oh, hey dean." He grinned
"You will never grow up will you?" dean asked lachie as he stood from the wheelchair.
"C'mon chasie, let's get you home." Lachie said as he took the chair to the side of the bed, lachie and dean picked chase up and transferred him into the chair. Chase winced slightly as his ribs were pulled.
"You good?" dean asked. Chase nodded.
"Let's go then." Lachie said as the trio made their way to the car.
Arriving at dean's apartment dean and lachie helped chase into the chair and wheeled him inside, lachie and chase sat in the lounge room and watched a movie while dean made lunch in the kitchen.
A few hours later the movie had finished and dean looked over at chase and saw his eye lids drooping.
"You tired chase?" he asked,
"A bit" he said before yawning.
"Okay, bed time for chasie-boy" lachie said humorously
"Shut up lachie." Chase replied smiling as lachie began pushing the chair into his room.
"Lach, this is your room." Chase stated.
"I know, I'll take the couch. You will be more comfterble." Lachie told him. "And don't argue." Lachie added as he saw chase about to speak. Chase sighed and moved over into the bed, lachie pulled the blankets up. "Yell out if you need anything." He told chase.
"I will, thanks lach." Chase said sincerely before lachie left the room.
"He good?" dean asked when lachie returned to the lounge.
"Yeah I think so." Lachie said. "Are you right here with chase for a while?" he asked.
"Yeah sure, where you going?" dean asked curiously.
"Station House, I'll tell Michelle chase's plan to return on Monday and I've got some paperwork I need to finish."
"Alright, see you later." Dean said as lachie headed out the door.
Lachie pulled up at the station house and walked up behind Heidi who was sorting through a tool-box.
"Boo" he said next to her ear, she spun around .
"Lachie!" she said giving him a hug. "How's chase, lara told us he had feeling in his legs again." She asked
"He's good, he's at home sleeping at the moment." Lachie told her.
"That's great." Heidi said smiling as she returned to the tool box. Lachie made his way up the stairs and knocked on Michelle's office door.
"Hey lachie, come in." she said looking up from her desk. "How is chase."
"He's good, that's kind of why I'm here." Lachie explained. "He wants to come back on Monday and help here with paperwork or something, he says he will be bored at home." Lachie told Michelle.
"I don't see why that would be an issue. I guess I'll see him tomorrow then." Michelle said
"thanks." Lachie smiled before he went to his computer and finished up some work, he then left and drove home.
The following morning dean and lachie got ready for work and then continued into chases room.
"Morning, sleepy." Dean stated as he woke chase up.
"You still want to come to work?" lachie asked. Chase nodded so lachie got chase's uniform out of the wardrobe. Dean helped chase to stand, keeping him balanced on one leg as chase got dressed, he sat back into the wheelchair and lachie started to push it.
"I can do it." Chase stated. Lachie stopped pushing and looked at dean, he shrugged. Both brothers looked on as chase (awkwardly) managed to maneuverer the chair with one casted arm into the kitchen, lachie cooked toast for the 3 of them and they ate before loading into the patrol and driving to the station house.
When they arrived chase wheeled over to the bottom of the stairs, lachie helped him stand supporting him with one of chase's arms over lachie's shoulders. With the aid of his older brother chase 'hopped' up the stairs, dean close behind with the wheelchair.
"chasie!" lara and Heidi exclaimed happily as they ran over to chase who was no back in his chair, Jordan Michelle and Vince also came over and greeted him.
"Hey guys" chase smiled and wheeled himself over to his desk.
"Chasie, I've got some paperwork for you to do." Michelle smiled as she placed a stack of files beside him. Lachie and dean laughed. Vince got a phone call.
"Righto you lot, got a call out." Vince announced as the team gathered there gear.
"Cya later chase!" Lachie called as they took off down the stairs.
6 weeks later:
Dean was at work while lachie wheeled chase back into the hospital, the doctors took chase for an x-ray and then both brothers were taken to a cubicle. The doctor was talking chase through what he was going to do, he stated the small saw.
"Alright you might feel a bit of pressure as I cut the cast off." He told chase.
A few minutes later chase was cast free.
"Alright, everything has healed nicely. I will give you some crutches I want you to walk normally but put your weight on the crutch, gradually put more pressure to your foot until its back to normal mobility." The doc explained. As he handed chase the crutches.
"Yep, thanks" chase said as he and lachie made their way back home.
After a week on the crutches and some physio chase was aloud back to work. He walked with his brothers up the stationhouse stairs and they sat at their desks, not 5 minutes after arriving they heard Vince's voice.
"2 car MVA ,Wilson road. Move it!" he called up the stairs. Lara, Heidi and Jordan in one patrol attended to one car while the Gallagher boys in the other patrol tended to the other vehicle.
"Hello, I'm from rescue, can you hear me?" chase asked. The man replied, he wasn't injured just in shock. Lachie and chase lead the man to an ambulance where he would be further assessed in hospital.
"Good to have you back chasie-boy!" dean grinned as he ruffled his hair.