Katherine shrieked just as her body began to convulse, startling both her mother and the nurse.
Barbara was waiting for the nurse to complete Katherine’s bandage exchange when the piercing sound reverberated around the room.
“What happened?” Barbara yelled, as she quickly pushed herself from the chair. “Why is she shaking?”
Both were staring at Katherine’s shuddering body.
“I don’t know . . . she could be dreaming.”
Katherine’s eyes were wide open as she went through her ordeal.
“Katherine, can you hear me?” Barbara asked quietly, as she looked into her daughter’s eyes.
Katherine only returned a blank stare.
“I’ll get a doctor.” The nurse turned and ran hurriedly from the room.
Barbara felt helpless. “Katherine, it’s mommy! Can you hear me? Katherine? Please, if you can hear me, squeeze my hand,” she pleaded, as she held her daughter’s hands.
JM was about to enter Katherine’s room when the nurse rushed out. The opened door allowed him to hear Barbara as she spoke to their daughter, but seeing Katherine’s shuddering body, and fixed gaze, shock set in, briefly. From where he stood, he then asked, “Is she awake? Why is she shaking?”
“We don’t know. The nurse has gone to get a doctor. I hope they hurry.”
JM moved to the side of the bed and was standing over his daughter. “Her eyes are open. She is awake. Thank God! Katherine, can you hear me?”
Only a glazed look came from Katherine.
“She must be unconscious.”
A doctor, accompanied by the nurse, came rushing into the room and almost immediately, the light from a small torch invaded Katherine’s pupils. With no apparent response, he then disinfected his hands in the small sink and quickly examined her wrists, before doing likewise to her bandaged-covered groin.
With the medical chart from the bedframe’s end in his left hand, he wrote his summations with his right, but, as if uncertain, he kept mulling over what he wrote.
“I’m going to call Doctor Gilmore and ask him to examine her. She appears to be awake, but she’s not responding. It could be caused by any number of factors.” He paused to look at Katherine, then continued with his summary, “It’s possible she’s still in shock. We’ll do some tests. Until we do, I suggest you talk to her … it may help. If she hears familiar voices she may respond.”
“Can she hear us?” Barbara had heard it to be true, but was unsure.
“I can’t say positively, but it wouldn’t hurt if she was spoken to. Please … try not to worry too much. We’ll do our utmost to see she receives the best of care.”
As Barbara stroked her daughter’s cheek, she could feel Katherine’s erratic breathing brushing against her hand. “You’re not alone. We’re with you.”