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Brain Death

By Molly

It was a sunny day in Chicago. County General was busy as ever. Luka, Abby, and Cleo sat at the front desk talking.  

“ We only have four doctors!,” Luka exclaimed. “Kerry’s in an important meeting with Ramono. Mark’s daughter’s sick but he’ll be here in a little bit. Carter’s in New York. Peter’s in surgery. And of course Malucci’s late. That leaves me, Lizzie, and you two.” 

“ Great. It’s going to be a long day.”

“Abby handle the suture room. We’ll take on any traumas.” 

Carol walked up. “ Guys we’ve got a trauma coming in. Auto verses bicycle.” 

“ I’ll take the bicycle victim,” volunteered Cleo. 

“ Then Lizzie, Abby, and I have the rest. Carol what’s the ETA?” 

“ They’re at the door.” 

The four doctors went outside. A paramedic hopped from the first vehicle. “Bicycle rider here.” They led the gurney indoors. “ Thirty year old male. Hit by a car. Ankle and head injuries. Head laceration. BP’s ninety over sixty.” 

“ Okay on my count. One. Two. Three.”

They lifted the backboard onto the other gurney. Cleo bent over the patient. “Sir can you tell me your name?” 

The man paused. “ Cleo? That you?”

“ Dave?” 

“ The one and only.”

“ What happened?”

“ Well I was riding my bike to work. Pretty sweet thing. I was riding through a cross walk and next thing I know I was on a backboard on my way here.”

“Dave were you wearing a helmet?” 

“ Hell no.”

“ Dave you should wear one.” 

“ Well I’ve only had some road rash before this.” 

“ Hope you’ll reconsider.”

“ Yeah right man.” 

“Which ankle hurts?” 

“ My left.”

Cleo gently raised it. “ Ow. Watch it Cleo.”

“I’ll fetch portable x-ray. Don’t go anywhere.” 

“ Like I could. You got me strapped to this board like I’m plastered.” 

“ Whatever.” 

“ I must admit. It is pretty cool.”

Cleo walked next door. “ Luka I’ve solved your Dave problem. I know where he is.” 

“Where? Page him.”

“He’s next door strapped to a backboard. He was the bicyclist.”

“He okay?”

“Ankle injury. He’ll be fine. Mind if I steal the x-ray?” 

“Go ahead.” 

Cleo grabbed the machine and rolled it over to the trauma room. “ Here we go. Don’t move.”

“Like I could.” 

“Shut up or I’ll tube you.” Cleo shot the x-ray. “ Now for that cut.”

Ten minutes later Mark walked through the trauma room doors. “Cleo have you seen Dave?” Dave raised his hand and waved. “ Hey Mark. How’s it going?”

“ Dave? What happened?” 

“ Crashed my bike into a car. The car won.” 

“ No helmet?” 

“ Hell no.”

“Dave I’ll never get your touch with brain death.”

“ It’s a mission. Mark. I’m kidding.” 

“Cleo will he live?” 

“Unfortunately. Sorry to cut it short but Mr. Daredevil here has a date with CT.” 

“ Cleo. Daredevil’s my middle name.”

“You have a slight concussion.” 

“ Good can you unplaster me now?”

“ You know this is pretty entertaining.” Cleo began to leave the room. “ I think I’ll get a manicure, then a pizza, then catch that two hour long movie. Then maybe I’ll unstrap you.” 

“Can we compromise here?”

“Let me think.”

“ I’ll work three graveyard shifts.”

“ Now that’s worth it.” Cleo unstrapped the head gear but left the neck brace on. 

“That’s better. Now how bout those ankle films?” 

“Congrats Dave. You fractured your ankle.”


“ Sit still.” 

“ God. Can you numb it.”

“ No way.” Cleo popped it back into place. 

“Ow!!! Now can you do me a big favor?” 

“ What?”

“ The neck brace?” 

“ Oh....... okay.” Cleo un-did the neck brace and Dave sat up rubbing his neck. “ Hold on. I’ve got to brace that ankle.”

“ The best part.” Cleo broke the velcro on the brace like she was cracking open a lobster. She slipped it around Dave’s ankle then adjusted the velcro. 

“ Now can I go?” 

“Hold on.” Cleo went out into the hallway. “ Hey Dave. How tall are you?” 

“ Six foot. Why?”

Cleo walked back in with a pair of crutches. 

“ Hey man. I can walk.”

“ Not on that fractured foot. Go talk to Mark and see if he wants you to stay. We’re short staffed.”

Dave began to leave. 

“ Don’t forget about the graveyard shifts.”

“ Like I could.” Dave caught up with Mark in the hall. “ Mark. Cleo says you’re short staffed. Need me to work?” 

“Are you up to it? If I’d been side swept by a truck without wearing a helmet...” 

“I’m up to it.”

“ Then sign in.” Dave smiled as he made his way to the lounge and changed into his scrub top. He limped back out and around to the front desk. There sat Abby and Connie.

“ Dr. Malucci. What happened?”

“ I was the bicyclist in the accident. I wasn’t wearing a helmet and I’m proud of it.”

“ God Dave. You’re screwed.”

“ Abby got anything good for me?”

Abby and Connie exchanged glances. “ A four year old in Pedes.” 

“ Great. A screaming little brat to add to my headache.” Dave grabbed the chart and made his way to the Pedes
room. He opened the door. There lay a bright red four year old boy. “ Hello Ms. Wills. I’m Dr. Malucci. What seems to be the problem?”

“ I think it’s the flu. He’s been vomiting for a day. He has a high fever.” 

“ Are you his legal guardian?” 

“ I guess you could call me that. Damon lives with me at the children’s home. I work there and brought him in.”

“Well we’ll see what’s wrong. Hang in there Damon.” As Dave began to leave Damon exclaimed, “ I’m gonna get sick!!!” Dave grabbed a basin but the kid missed and vomited all over his top.

“ Feel better?” The boy nodded. Dave left the room. He walked past the front desk. Connie and Abby took one look at him and burst out laughing.

“ You knew that kid was gonna hurl didn’t you?” Dave pulled the scrub top off and threw it at the two. “ Here. Have a souvenir.” They squealed as Dave grabbed another scrub top off the nearby shelf and pulled it on.

Dave was doing paperwork when Ms. Wills came up to him. “ Dr. Malucci. I have to leave for awhile. Could you stay with Damon for awhile? He doesn’t like being alone.”

“ Sure Ms. Wills.” Dave went to Damon’s room. “ Hey Damon.” 

“ Hi. Who are you?”

“My name’s Dave. Ms. Wills asked me to stay with you for awhile.” The room filled with silence. “ Damon did you ever know your parents?” 

“ No. Never. What about you?”

“ I’ve never met them before. When I was little they put me up for adoption. I wish I could meet them.” 

“ Same here.” 

“ So Damon what do you like to do?” 

“ Ride bikes, play baseball, and collect Pokemon cards.” 

“ I like to ride around on my bike. Do you have a helmet?” 

“Yeah but I hate it.” 

“ Hey man that’s how I ended up like this.” 

“ I like you Dave.”

“ Same here Damon.” Dave paused. “ Buddy I gotta go. I’ll come back soon.” 

“Okay Dave. Bye.”

“ Bye Damon.”

Dave passed Ms. Wills in the hallway. “ Ms. Wills I have a question.”

“ Sure Dr. Malucci.”

“ How would you go about finding a person’s parents?” 

“ If you’re talking about Damon...” 

“ No. Actually I’m talking about myself. I want to find my parents. Could you help me out?” 

“ Do you know what adoption agency you lived in?”

“Resprein Adoption Agency.” 

“ What are your adoptive parents’ names?” 

“ Jack and Lillian Russell.”

“ Well I’ll try to do my best Dr. Malucci. Is there anything else?” 

“Not really.” Dave walked away. Dave stood supported by his crutches at the front desk when Carter entered the
doors. “ Dave what the heck happened to you?” 

“ Hello to you too. I crashed my bike into a car accidentally and fractured my ankle pretty bad. How was New York?
You like it?” 

“Yeah. Isn’t that where you’re from?” 

“ Yeah. Well see you.” Carter walked off.

Not more than ten minutes later Kerri came up. “ Dr. Malucci. Are you okay? What happened?” 

“I’m fine. I got hit by a car on my bike. Hurt my foot.” 

“ Then why the crutches?” 

"Fractured it real good.”

“ Well then. Take it slow.”

“ Sure Chief.”

Kerri left and Jerry approached him. “ Yo Dr. Dave. Got you those Pokemon cards you wanted. Who they for?”

“ A patient. Thanks Jerry.” 

“ Oh and by the way Dr. Dave. Your bike’s out back. What’s left of it anyway.”

Dave walked off towards Damon’s room. As he twisted the knob Ms. Wills came out. “ Dr. Malucci can we talk?”

“ Sure. We can talk over here.” The two sat down.

“ I didn’t think it would be this soon but I may have found your parents.” 

“Who? Where?” 

“ Their names are Antonio and Eriah.”

“ Where are they?” 

“Right here in Chicago.”

“ Do you have their phone number?”

“ Yes. Right here. It’s 625-9980.”

“Thank you Ms. Wills.”

“ Call me Lesleigh.”

“ Dave.”

“ Well Dave I have to go.” 

“Thank you so much Lesleigh.”

Dave nervously paced back and forth on his crutches as he called the number Lesleigh had given him. “ Hello?,” said a strong Italian lady’s voice. 


“Yes? Who is this?” 

“ It’s me. It’s your son Dave.”