ICU Angel

ICU Angel

It began like any other day. I played with my smart phone. Had a big cup of coffee. Changed my son into clean diapers. But the day changed faster than spilled milk when I noticed he was running a fever. I gave him Tylenol but it didn’t work which could only mean infection. I took him to the urgent care clinic but their test ruled out flu.

Suddenly I was a thousand miles from home with my seven-month-old son dying with 106-degree temperature in a children’s hospital. The visit to our relatives near Canada was turning into a bad dream. And our goal our reaching twelve months to get him the operation he needed was suddenly slipping away.

My son was born with one kidney and it was seriously damaged. We ignored the abortion advice of every doctor who I quickly fired (and cursed out) until we heard of a doctor who repaired this defect. He gave us a regimen of daily antibiotics, hygienic handling of the child and twelve months of age to survive the operation.

Now my son lay near death on a bed far from home because some idiot relative didn’t bother to wash their hands after using the restroom. My son had E. Coli and it traveled right into his remaining kidney giving him an infection and fever that threatened his very life.

I pressed the lab girl to speed up the culture necessary to determine the exact antibiotic used to effectively combat his infection. She told me they were backed up with tests for the children’s cancer ward. I rambled back about the gravity of my son’s situation. He might not last the night with such an extremely high temperature.

She said the broad spectrum antibiotic drip should keep him in check until the culture is back. I told her if that was her child in Intensive Care Unit would that answer satisfy her —-“just wait and hope for the best.”

She ran back into the lab and I didn’t see her anymore. I went back to my waiting lounge close to my son’s room. I said a prayer for him. And later that evening the nurse said he was put on the antibiotic that will eliminate the bacteria raging in his tiny body.

I went upstairs to thank the young lady for expediting his culture; possibly saving his life. The man at main lab door looked puzzled when I described her. He assured me there was no young Asian woman on staff at the laboratory. I took the elevator down and proceeded to my son’s room. He lay quiet in a deep sleep. His insides in a transformative battle with a bacteria more comfortable in fecal matter.

The questions raced up and down my mind like a squirrel on diet pills. Will my son wake up? Who was that girl? How the hell did this happen? Who was that girl? I’ve never been the religious type but I wonder if my son is slated for something special one day. He’s beaten more odds than a prize-winning horse with a bad leg. 

He just woke up and is playing with the stuffed raccoon I bought him three days ago. He’s standing up and smiling. I need to sit down. I’m hesitant to touch him at this moment. The thought of more germs entering his system is too much to bare. I just saw the lab girl walk by our room. I ran to the door but there was no one there. Maybe the stress is overloading my senses. Maybe it’s not important who or what she is. My son alive. That’s enough for today.

Mark Antony Rossi is a poet, playwright and author of a selected short fiction collection “Corrupt City of My Heart” available in all ebook formats and through Soma Publishing.

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