Liz had just graduated from nursing school and was excited to get a job at one of the nicest hospitals in four counties. They had assigned her to the Emergency Room, which is what she was hoping for. She had visions of nonstop excitement like you see in TV dramas. Nothing but gunshot wounds and stabbings all day long, with the occasional amputated limb here and there. The reality of it was the odd fracture and patients with the flu. The most exciting injury she saw that first week was a lacerated forehead from a car accident.
Though it had been slow her co-workers assured her that things would pick up. You never know what could come through that door she had heard a thousand times.
It was an early Sunday morning when she made her way along the long winding sidewalk that led to the employee entrance of hospital. It was close to public E.R. entrance, but slightly obscured by some strategically place bushes.
As she approached the building she saw something unusual and out of place. At first it looked like a pile of clothes, and it wasn’t until she got closer that she could tell it was a person. The body of a young man was lying in an unnatural heap just off the sidewalk, about twenty feet from the entrance door. He was unconscious and she wasn’t even sure if he was alive.
Liz’s training kicked in and she laid him flat on his back, checking the ABC’s of first aid. Only after she found that he was breathing and had the faintest signs of a pulse did she sprint into action. She ran inside the hospital, grabbed a Tech Assistant, and the security guard to help her get the man inside. They wheeled a gurney outside to load him on. Even with the three of them it was a challenge to get him on the bed. Though this young man was not fat, he was unnaturally heavy. Once on the gurney they got him into the nearest empty emergency room pod.
The E.R. doctor arrived and took over. Liz’s heart raced with excitement as she assisted the doctor in getting the young man off the gurney and into the bed. His breathing was shallow, and his vitals were far from normal as Liz heard the doctor call them out.
Liz was quickly pushed aside by the more experienced nurses as they began to work on him, along with the doctor. She stood in the doorway of his room staring at the young man far longer than she should have, but she had never seen anything so…
“Liz!” The doctor yelled, breaking the trance-like state she was in. “Go outside and see if you can find a wallet or any clue that may help determine his condition, or who he is.”
The young man had nothing in his pockets that identified him, not even a cell phone. Liz ran back to the spot she found him and started checking the area. She found three things in the grass where she found him, placed them into a plastic bag, and raced back inside.
After Liz told the doctor what she had found he gave the unconscious young man a shot of Naloxone. Within seconds of the injection he came out of his comatose state, albeit slower than the doctor thought was normal. He did not appear to be fully cognizant and wasn’t able to answer any questions. He was muttering something they could not fully make out before he fell back into slumber. The patient’s condition and behavior were not the norm, but he was stable for the moment.
Speculation ran wild and it seemed attempted suicide was the common consensus and a somewhat halfhearted attempt at that. If you really wanted to die wouldn’t you go somewhere secluded and out of the way, rather than the doorstep of the hospital. Some would say that this was clear cry for help.
That evening as the mysterious stranger slept, Liz went back to his room to check on him. She knew he would be going to the east wing soon and she couldn’t help but wonder why. Why had he come here? Why did he do what he did? The more she stared at him the more she wanted to know.
In a town this size, where everyone knows just about everyone, this was fodder for gossip. Word would spread fast about this young stranger, as everything about him seemed mysterious. The fact that he had no identification, no car keys, and no cell phone, just added to the suspicious nature of it all. In today’s world anyone under forty without a cell phone glued to their hand is odd.
Several employees of the hospital made their way to his room just to see if they recognized him, or may have seen him before. This, along with a few other things, only fueled the gossip.