By P. Berman & K. Hecht, & A. Hosack
It’s my fault he was driving. I was afraid to. Have I killed him?
Ted is caught in the passenger seat of the bus. He can’t get out, but he doesn’t care. He can’t take his eyes off of Larry; his body is who is crumpled against a broken steering wheel – covered in blood. Ted hears noises outside of the car but can’t identify them. He needs to help Larry. What should he do? He gently reaches over and shakes Larry’s shoulder, “Larry can you hear me?” There was no answer. Time passes, Ted periodically just shakes Larry’s shoulder trying to see a sign that Larry is still alive. Almost past hope, Ted hears a huge wrenching sound – the top of the bus is gone, lifted off by a giant claw. Ted can see police cars, a fire engine, and an ambulance. They are putting their arms around Ted.
“Leave me here, save Larry,” Ted tries to scream as they carefully lift him out and transfer him to the ambulance; the scream was in Ted’s head – no sound had come out. In the ambulance, whatever they attached him to a bag of clear fluid and in an instant – he was asleep.
It takes longer to get Larry out. There’s a lot of metal of the car holding him in that has to be removed first. As soon as they can, they take his pulse; Larry is still alive. He only survived this accident because Emergency medical technicians (EMT) rushed into a highly dangerous situation in order to save him. Knowing that the vehicle crushed around Larry and Ted could explode at any moment, they had still calmly used hydraulic equipment to pull parts of the car apart so that they could lift the two men out.
Could you do this? Could you rush in and work calmly to save another life while yours was in jeopardy?
Larry wasn’t dead but his life was in severe jeopardy. Police officers and firemen worked together to extricate him from an almost demolished vehicle, and this teamwork gave him a chance to live. As Larry’s damaged body was finally lifted out of the bus the rushing continued, this time rushing to get him into an ambulance. As the vehicle was driven as quickly as possible to the hospital, the Emergency Technician did a quick check of Larry’s condition. His arms and legs were broken, and he had a severe concussion and his heart was barely beating. In the ambulance, life and death decisions were made by this paramedic who managed to keep Larry on the right side of life until he could be rushed into emergency surgery.
Larry survived 10 hours of surgery to be released directly into intensive care. In a wheelchair, Ted is staring at Larry through a glass window – he is hooked up too many different machines. The nurses and doctors must carefully monitor his response to surgery, so they are in and out frequently. He is never alone. There is always one monk keeping vigil and praying for his recovery. Martin has also been watching. He calls the gang to give them an update. All he could say was that Larry had not regained consciousness yet and was never alone.
If Larry lives, will he go back to the monastery? Will the gang make another attempt to kill him?
Serious illness and accidents sometimes lead people to re-evaluate the choices they were making in life. Larry had been raised to believe that his choices were confined to living a life on the edge of society, disrespected by everyone and having to use violence to survive. All his courage, physical strength and endurance had supported his staying alive, both in and out of prison. If Larry had grown up in a different family, these strengths could have made him a valuable member of a police unit, squad of firefighters, or Emergency Medical Technician. These choices would have made him a respected and valued member of society.
Do you know anyone who has considered becoming an EMT?
To read more about the training required to become one go to: