The doctors and nurses in the Emergency Room prepared themselves for the
longest night of the year – New Year’s Eve going into New Years day.
As morbid as it may be, they even had a pool going to guess the time of the first
alcohol related incident to come into the ER. He had 11:30. The clock showed
11:00. All was quiet, except for the broken leg in pod 1 as the result of a young
man falling off of a ladder putting up New Years decorations. This patient had not
even started drinking yet.
They heard the sirens in the distance as the radio call came in announcing two
ambulances were on their way with victims from a car crash – 11:15, Nurse
Thompson’s entry in the pool.
Dr. Sampson took the first patient, a 30-ish man, conscious with blood streaming
from his head. The smell of alcohol was prevalent. His patient was a young woman
on a respirator with IV’s already in place. Walking beside the rolling stretcher was
her husband, holding her hand, tears running down his face as he said, “We were
on our way here. Her water broke at about 10:00. This guy ran the red light and
slammed right into us. Is she going to be okay?”
An ER social worker took the husband to a waiting area as the doctor began barking
out orders to nurses and attendants in assistance.
The drunk driver, of course, would be okay – for some reason, they usually always
The husband and would-be father sat sobbing as police officers led the offender out
of the hospital and into their waiting patrol car. No word yet from the team working
on his wife and child.
He heard fireworks from outside the window in the waiting area and could hear a
few, “Happy New Years” being shared by doctors and nurses in the hallways.
New Years was also welcomed in in the Central Time Zone, Mountain Time Zone and
Pacific Time Zone before the doctor walked out to meet the husband in the waiting
area. The look on the doctor’s face said it all. The social worker joined them as the
doctor simply said, “I’m sorry. We could not save your wife – but your son is doing
The news crew that was at the hospital to report on the first baby born in 2011
decided to cancel their story. Nurse Thompson did not collect the pool money. The
father was led to a room in the maternity ward where he fed his new son formula
from a bottle.
Maybe, just maybe, someone will read this story and schedule to have a cab take
them home from the New Years Eve party and this story can remain a fictional tale.