Emergent trauma surgeries are unfortunately a big part of my job as a surgeon.
Whether it’s an accident or premeditated, these patients end up on my operating table and I’m the one who’s tasked with determining their fate:
Can I salvage their life, or is their death inevitable?
I remember one case in particular that put my skills to the test. His name was Mark, and by the time he was wheeled into my operating room he was just about brain dead. He presented as a zombie, the blood loss had turned his skin pale and you could almost hear the bell tolling each time his heart monitor beeped.
It was a construction site accident. Mark was digging in one of the upper levels with the plan of erecting a vacation home for Zeus. The crane operator didn’t see Mark in the trench, and when he swung the hook around it cracked Mark upside the the head.
The hole it created in his head was at least six inches deep, and boy was the blood flowing out of that gash fast.
Now his proxy, or decision-maker, was his father Paul, and he walked Mark into the OR with us. Before we prepared Mark for surgery, Paul made it abundantly clear that the medical team should perform any intervention necessary to save Mark’s life.
Then we sent Paul to the waiting area before surgery commenced.
Does this story ring any bells for you so far, Tombstone?
I’m quite certain that most of my patients like Mark end up on your table as well.
If someone has a bad accident, or perhaps even gets shot in the head, they too are sent on their way to your mortuary and it’s you who is then tasked with determining their fate:
Their ultimate resting place.
Can their soul be salvaged?
Or are they destined to be put six levels under by you?
See, that’s one thing we have in common, Ferryman. You and I are forced to make some of Arcadia’s biggest decisions.
But you and I are very different decision-makers, as evidenced by my case with patient Mark.
After I kicked Mark’s proxy, Paul, out of my room, there was no one else for me to report to.
When I’m at work in the operating room, I make all the decisions, and my decision is final.
Like a god, the surgeon is the ultimate judge of his patient’s fate.
And that day, I decided it was best to let Mark bleed out.
My intervention for Mark was sending him to paradise.
You’re too weak to make your own decisions, Tombstone.
You answer to Igor Mortis like he’s your proxy, allowing him to have the final say.
Well, when we clash in the ring, we both know which one of us has what it takes to make the big decision.
Your fate is death, and your pale ass will be in rigor mortis just like Mark when I place you on my operating table.
It’s time to send you on your way.
Now take a deep breath and close your eyes…
See you on the other side, Tombstone.