Tick, tock, tick tock, Michael counted the clicks, as death flashed a light as he strolled by. He attempted to avoid death’s gaze by looking left and right but the beam directly fell on his face in whichever direction he turned his head. He couldn’t escape today. There was no way He was breaking free from the spider’s web. “Mama!” He called out! But then even He could not hear himself. He lay afloat the sea of desperation and envisioned a raft dancing from a distance.
Then, he heard the gentle sobs of his mother and felt the agonizing heart of his father, as imperceptible hands clenched his cold fingers. His heart skipped another beat on the monitor in an attempt to catch a glimpse of the doctor strenuously pressing on his precordium, forcefully pushing his strong palms against his frail, weary heart.
Every moment happened in succession and his worlds began to drift apart, the broken framework continued to shatter, revealing pieces of the other world, – So beautiful and lovely! The thin thread affixing his soul to his body wavered. With every tick, the thread detached from its fastness and propelled him further downwards. Tick, tock, tick, tock.
There was my hand, fiddling for a pulse, just a single pulse! The sign of a persevering life. His pulse however kept tapping my finger lightly like an oscillating pendulum- So faint and thready.
The story then unfolds, Michael was wheeled in by the nurses after He was triaged a code of red, which meant he had to be seen immediately. He was involved in a road traffic accident, as a restrained passenger, in a top speeding bus. On that day, He was sandwiched between his grandmother and his mother who were seated on his left and right respectively; His two guardian angels. They had said a word of prayer as they set off to their destination. – The airport.
Daddy had returned from a 7 year expedition which earned him the title “Specialist Physician”. He waited patiently for the arrival of his family because he had not set sight on them in a very long time. He longed to see his son; who looked so much like him.
Rewind to the bus, Michael read a bedtime novel he bucked in his backpack before the journey. Mother enjoyed her playlist from her favorite musician –Joe Mettle, and Grannie went back to the blues; keeping her gaze fixed on the moving glass window, seemingly reminiscing the past – the good old times with Papa Mensah. She held back tears, as she aroused her last moments with him – on the hospital bed.
The man writhed in pain and gasped for air, battling so hard to set himself free from the terminal stages of prostate cancer. She clinched her grandson closer retaining the presence of her husband in the boy, Michael.
It all happened in a flash, Misery in motion. Her mother recalls recoiling herself backwards to take a nap, the driver throwing the car in a berserk motion to avoid collision with the big truck, frantic screams, convulsions and gasps from the passengers, in different motions of recovery, from the front to the rear of the car, dilated pupils bracing themselves for impact, rigid flexed knees ready to take a knock for being hard headed, and bloodshot ears which screeched to the sound of the bang.
Fast forward to the hospital, Grandmother, mother and grandson are being wheeled to the emergency department. Michael was in a coma, not responding to command, touch and pain. He was triaged RED and images from his head to his foot were taken.
The head and neck CT scan showed a large bleed on both sides of his brain with associated fractures of the cervical spine vertebrae. A chest x-ray showed serial rib fractures with collection of blood in the right lung and a pelvic x-ray showed widening of the pubis symphysis. He spiked a constant fever of 40.6 which was unresponsive to anti-pyretics. Even his lungs denied the oxygen being impaled through his nostrils.
He then began to deteriorate, very fast! The call was made and pride of doctors surged in. Surprisingly, his father too joined. His pulse glowed faintly and diminished with every shot of adrenaline being pumped in, eventually moving into hibernation. The atmosphere hinted it was his time to leave; the doctors reclined when the zephyr disappeared.
After 30mins of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, Michael’s pupils were fixed and dilated; unresponsive to the touch of a cotton wool. There was no respiratory effort and no carotid pulse – The pulse we had fought to bring back.
I gently closed his eyelids and checked the time: 11:25pm. I wished I could have done something more to save his life but then, I had ran out of options and so He had assumed room temperature. I bowed my head as I exited the emergency department breaking the unfortunate news to his uncle. Rest in peace Michael.
Eliezer Bernard Owusu Ntim.