Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Mother's Death and Me At the Crossroads

I was working a rare morning shift when we received a call for a cardiac arrest, CPR being performed by the victim's daughter. Lights and sirens screaming we pull up to the building in no more than 2 minutes. We hustle up to the apartment where the door is open. We walk inside. I look to my left into the bedroom and see a woman on the floor on her back. Doing chest compressions is a girl approximately 12 years hold. I gently take the girl by the arm and move her out of the way and as I do I see 5 children probably between 5 and 10 years old looking on, mouths agape and eyes stretched open. I look down at the woman, do a quick check and immediately see that the woman was obviously dead and no matter of CPR was bringing her back. Now we had the right to pronounce the patient dead right there and not working her up but there was no way I was leaving her there dead in from of her six children. So we started going through the motions of performing CPR. Just then I looked up and saw a female police officer moving the children into the next room. In an instant I was overcome by an emotion that literally shook me. It took a moment to realize but what it was, was at this exact moment the lives of these children would change for ever. Their mother, their protector was now gone and their lives would be changed forever. They were standing at the crossroads of a certain past and uncertain future. AN I WAS THERE!. I was part of the whole thing. I was part of this gigantic whole that would change these poor children's lives forever.

It was one of the most soul shaking events of my life and after 20 years I can still feel it at times when the children are asleep and the house is quiet: What happened to those kids? Do they remember me? Over and over these thoughts still run through my head.