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“Code Blue, Room 17” the speakers shouted in the hallway.

A call light flashed over the door.

Dean, in his nursing school uniform, arrived at the scene within Room 17. His nursing courses had not prepared him for this clinical experience.

“What happened?” A physician brushed past Dean, in shock in the doorway.

“15 year old Male was in status epilepticus and progressed to respiratory, and now, cardiac arrest.” Frantic staff members spoke over each other to the doctor.

A mother’s wail cut through Dean’s pause.

A staff person escorted the mother to the doorway to observe and gather information from her.

The mother spoke out in panic, “I don’t know! He was fine yesterday. He was doing okay with the Soil, we thought. Everything was fine yesterday! He’s had three seizures today… We called emergency help after the second and he seized again on the way here! He’s going to be okay, though, isn’t he?… The Soil is good for us!”

Her words echoed in Dean’s head. He was here now.

The nurse and doctor’s eyes met as if their suspicions were confirmed.

Dean recalled the news stories of young people Withdrawing from their Contracts. He knew it was severe. But he had never seen it personally.

The resuscitation efforts blurred in time in front of Dean. The impact of the scene was compounded by the mother alternating between frantic and subdued beside him.

Eventually, the doctor announced the time for the room and the efforts stopped.

“1305 is time of death. Let’s have a moment of silence to observe this young man’s life.”

The mother wept in the staff’s arms.

Shaken, Dean walked away to finish his clinical for the next few hours, but the words, and their conviction echoed in his ears.

“The Soil is good for us!”

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