Firstly, my apologise for the long delay in the next section of Chapter 1, but I have been going through a few rough weeks and haven’t had much time to concentrate on my book. But never fear, the story continues, hope you continue to enjoy. Now I must warn you, the medical information within this section may not be 100% correct (can we really trust Wikipedia?) So any doctors out there that could assist or advice – this would be greatly appreciated.
‘Morning, what is your father’s name?’ queried the nurse.
‘Alex, Alex Alexander.’ Zoe felt as if her chest was closing in and she was battling to breathe normally.
The nurse quickly typed the name into the small computer on the desk, ‘He was brought in about forty five minutes ago and has been admitted to ICU, if you go down the passage and turn left the ICU is through the doors on the right.’
‘Thank you,’ stammered Zoe, quickly turning and rushing down the passage in the direction the nurse had pointed.
It all appeared surreal to her as she rushed passed doors and other visitors. Arriving at the end of the passage, she turned left, took a few haltering steps and with shaking hands she pushed at the big double doors on the right and entered. The smell of the hospital suddenly hit her in a wave, overwhelming her and making her feel faint. She urgently grasped the reception desk near the ICU doors, knuckles white, breathing raggedly through her mouth so as not to smell the clawing hospital smell.
‘My father, they said my father had been admitted here,’ Zoe gasped, her mouth suddenly feeling dry.
The elderly nurse seated behind the desk looked up with concern. ‘What is your father’s name, my dear?’ she queried kindly.
‘Alexander,’ said Zoe, her voice sounding too loud in this sombre room, ‘Alex Alexander.’
The nurse quickly checked her charts.
‘Yes, your father has been brought into the ICU. If you could please just have a seat, my dear, I will get Dr Marshall to see you now.’ replied the nurse softly.
‘I want to see my father,’ chocked Zoe almost in tears now. ‘What happened to him?’
‘The doctor will explain everything before you see him, my dear,’ said the nurse kindly, ‘perhaps I can get you a glass of water. The young girl was very pale, her large dark blue eyes wide in her tiny heart shaped face. She was obviously in shock and the nurse was concerned she may faint.
The nurse quickly paged the attending doctor and poured some water into a paper cup. Handing the water to Zoe she tried to reassure her as she sat perched on the very edge of the hard seat.
It was not long before a large, distinguished looking man in a white doctor’s jacket and identifying stethoscope appeared from behind the blue screens near the ICU reception.
‘Miss Alexander,’ queried the man softly?
‘Yes,’ said Zoe jumping up quickly almost spilling the water grasped tightly in her hand. ‘Is my father going to be alright? Are you his doctor? Can I see him now?’
‘Miss Alexander, I am Dr Marshall and I have just finished doing a preliminary examination of your father,’ he said softly. ‘Please can we go to a more private area so I can explain what has happened and what we still need to do?’
Numbly, Zoe followed the tall doctor down a short passage next to the reception and entered a small room. This waiting room area overlooked the rear of the hospital and was furnished with three soft two-seater couches situated around a small coffee table covered in various magazines and a coffee machine in the corner. Parked just outside the two small windows were a number of ambulances.
Zoe’s legs felt like rubber and she sank nervously onto one of the chairs and placed her untouched cup of water on the table. The longer the doctor took to take her to see her father, the more stressed she became.
‘Miss Alexander, your father was brought into the hospital this morning by ambulance. They were called out to attend to your father when he collapsed on his boat in Polperro harbour. I have done a preliminary examination and it appears that your father has suffered from an acute myocardial infarction. That is he has had a heart attack.’ said the doctor softly, watching the young lady carefully.
Zoe gave an anguished sob, her shaking hands flying up to cover her face as fear, despair and anger washed over her in waves. Thoughts darting through her mind; this couldn’t be happening, it wasn’t fair, he was her only relative, and she gasped for air. Standing up suddenly, she began to pace the room trying to control the emotions crashing through her body, trying to calm her shattered nerves. The doctor seemed to understand her need for quite and allowed her to continue until she slowly sat down again and faced his kind eyes.
‘How bad .. what .. what do we do now?’ stammered Zoe, still trying desperately to compose herself, the silent tears sliding down her checks. She knew she had to remain strong, for her father.
‘Your father has been admitted to the Coronary Care Unit under my supervision. I have put him on oxygen and glyceryl trinitrate and we will be monitoring his recovery very carefully. It is too soon for us to tell the exact amount of damage that has taken place. We will need to run a few more diagnostic tests to establish the severity of his case,’ continued Dr Marshall.
‘What tests, and what will they tell,’ queried Zoe?
‘We will need to run an ECG, take a few chest x-ray’s and do some more blood tests,’ answered the doctor. ‘These tests will tell us exactly what went wrong and what treatment we will need to provide. The results will take awhile to come through, but at the moment your father is stable.’
‘Is he in any pain,’ asked Zoe.
‘No, we have given him morphine for pain relief and he is currently resting peacefully,’ replied the doctor.
‘May I see him?’ whispered Zoe anxiously.
‘Yes, you can go see him now but I must warn you that he is currently attached to lots of machines,’ Dr Marshall consoled. ‘I don’t want you to get worried again, they are there to monitor and assist him.’
‘I realise that,’ said Zoe. ‘I have to be strong for my Dad. He would be worried if I was worried. Thank you Doctor.’
Zoe stood quickly and waited impatiently for the doctor to direct her to her father.