Hope you like this,
Rick walked toward the kitchen. He pulled his cell phone from his pocket and dialed Phillis.
“Hello?” Phillis answered.
“Mom.” Rick said having a hard time keeping his composure.
“What is it Rick?” she asked.
“I need you to come over now, right now. Sharon needs you, Mom.” He told her, his voice breaking.
“What happened?” Phillis asked, fear in her voice.
“They took the kids, Mom. Social services took them.” he answered.
“I’ll be there in ten minutes.” she immediately responded.
“I need to call Frank, I’ll see you when you get here.” Rick explained.
“Alright.” she replied.
He hung up the phone and called Frank. When Frank answered he said “Frank, I need your help. Social Services came and took Billy and Becky while I was at work. I need to know what the hell is going on.”.
Frank sitting in his office, immediately got up, got his coat on and headed for the door. “Hold on Rick…” he said. “June, cancel my appointments, I will be out for the rest of the day. I’ll call you later and let you know what’s going on.” he told his secretary. “OK, Rick are you at home?” he asked.
“Yes, Sharon and I are here, and Mom is on her way over to help Sharon cope. She’s in a bad way man, I don’t know what to do for her.” he said with tears falling.
“Look, you just go hold her, buddy. Worry about Sharon right now, I’ll get to the bottom of this, I promise.” Frank answered.
“Alright.” Rick responded with a thick voice.
“I’ll be there in about fifteen minutes Rick, just see to Little Sister for right now.” he said with a lump in his throat.
When Rick hung up the phone, he went to get something for Sharon to drink and brought it into the bedroom. She was laying on the bed, looking at nothing, crying softly. “Drink this Honey.” he said holding a cup out to her. When she didn’t respond, he sat her up and held the cup to her mouth. “Drink for me Sweetheart, please.” he said through his tears.
Sharon took a sip from the cup, swallowed and then drank most of what was in the cup in one long drink.
“That’s it Honey, good.” he told her. He put the cup down and was about to hold her close when the doorbell rang. Laying her down, he said “Just rest Hon.” as he covered her with a blanket. Getting up, he went to answer the door.
When Rick opened the door, Phillis took one look at him, saw the hurt in his eyes and hugged him tight. Rick said “Thanks for coming right away. Sharon’s in bed, please, help her.” he said through his tears. Phillis hearing the fear in his voice, let him go and headed to the bedroom.
She sat on the bed next to Sharon and asked softly “What happened Baby?” as she placed her hand on Sharon’s shoulder.
Sharon hear her Mom’s voice, opened her eyes and looked to make sure she was actually there. Bolting upright, she threw her arms around her Mom and just cried. She was sobbing her heart out, unable to speak for a good five minutes.
Phillis sat crying quietly as she held her daughter. It ripped her heart out to hear the anguish in Sharon’s cries, but she would sit there forever if it helped her little girl.
Peter stood at the side of the crib in the ICU. Billy lay there wearing just a diaper, his hands restrained should he wake up. Billy was stabilized, but was now on the ventilator, the machine giving him his breaths at regular intervals. “What have they done to you little boy?” he said softly as he caressed Billy’s cheek with his hand, tears making it difficult to see.
April came along side him, tears flowing down her face. “What did the scans show?” she asked, fear clearly evident in her voice.
“There’s inflammation, nothing else. I was afraid he had had a brain bleed. When we did the spinal tap, the pressure was high. That, more than anything else I suspect, is responsible for his condition. Do me a favor will you? Stay with him. Don’t leave him alone, even for a minute. If you need to go somewhere, get someone you trust to sit with him. I don’t want him waking up scared to death. I’ll speak with the nursing supervisor.” Peter told her.
“OK Peter, I’ll stay with him.” She answered as she put a hand on Peter’s shoulder.
“Thank you.” was all he could say. A moment later, he left the room to find his secretary.
When he got to his office, Michelle was typing on the computer. “Michelle, I need to ask a huge favor.” he told her.
“What is it Peter?” she asked, concern at his expression clearly showing on her face.
Peter took a paper and a pen from the desk and began writing. “I need you to go pick some things up for me. I know it’s not your job to go shopping for me, but please, just do this for me will you.” his voice breaking at the end as he handed her the paper.
Glancing at the paper, she quickly read through the list and then looked up at him. “Sure. I’ll take care of it right now.” as she got up and retrieved her purse.
“Thank you.” he said as he turned and made his way to his office. Sitting down, he picked up the phone, calling the nursing supervisor. When she answered, he asked her to come to his office as soon as possible. As he hung up the phone, the hospital administrator entered his office.
Johnathan Wexman was surprised when he got a call from Social Services. He was even more surprised when the director of the office for the county asked him to take Peter off of Billy’s case. He couldn’t imagine why anyone would ever ask that the best neurologist in five states be taken off a case as complicated as Billy Avery’s.
When John saw Peter, he was at a loss. How could he pull him from this case?
“What can I do for you John?” Peter asked halfheartedly, trying to get control of his emotions.
“Well, I came to let you know that I just got a call from the Director of Social Services for the county. They are asking me to take you off the Avery case.” John explained.
“Please don’t tell me that you’re going to do it.” Peter said softly with pain in his voice.
Seeing how much this meant to Peter, John said “Look, I don’t know what is going on with this case, or why someone would ask you to be pulled from it, but last I checked, I run this hospital. I decide who handles what here, not some bureaucrat downtown. As I’ve told you before, you’re the best neurologist I’ve got, and I would be putting the patient at risk by pulling you from the case. I just wanted you to know that someone is asking.”
“I’m glad you made the decision you did John, I would hate to have to resign today. It’s been a really shitty day.” Peter answered with an audible sigh. He knew that John hadn’t made his decision until a second ago. He wanted John to understand that he was willing to go that far to see that Billy was taken care of.
That rattled John. They had known each other for a long time, and John knew Peter was serious. Peter had made arguments before as to why he shouldn’t be pulled from a case, but this was the first time he ever threatened to resign. John wasn’t about to let one of his best doctors leave because some idiot wanted him pulled from a case. “What’s this all about?” he asked Peter.
“I’m not sure what the reasoning is. I know that someone is bent on making that little boy’s life hell at the moment, and I’m not gonna let them. I want to pull April from everything but his care, John. I know it will cost more, but if you need to, take it out of my pay.” he explained.
“It’s that important to you?” John asked.
Peter just shook his head. He didn’t care, he would pay the cost if they wanted him to.
“Alright. I’ll authorize an agency nurse to replace her. Keep me informed on what’s going on, will you? I can’t help you if I don’t know what’s going on.” John told him.
“I’ll let you know. I’m also going to put Billy under strict isolation with orders that no one is to see him without my explicit permission. Medically, I can justify that.” Peter explained.
John, understanding Peter was trying to limit who had access to the boy, said “I don’t know if you can win this game Peter.”.
“I’m damn sure going to try.” Peter told him with determination.
Ten minutes after John left, Lena Graves came in to his office. “You wanted to see me Peter?” she asked.
Peter saw she was a bit harried. She was probably running around as usual, “putting out fires” with patiens and staff. He felt for her. “I need to pull April from the floor and put her with one patient.” he explained.
With a painful expression, Lena asked “Is it absolutely necessary? We’re short today.”.
“It won’t be just today, and John just authorized bringing in another agency nurse. Can you make it happen?” he asked.
“Sure. Thanks for making sure she was replaced. I’ll make the call now.” Lena answered.
“Thanks Lena. I’m sorry to make your day any more complicated than it already is. I know you have your hands full as it is, but this is important.” Peter explained with a grateful expression.
“Any way I can help?” she asked him.
Peter was really grateful for most of the people he worked with. They would bend over backwards to help him make it easier on a patient. “Not right now, but I may need your help later.” he told her.
Lena left the office, leaving Peter to his thoughts. He didn’t understand what was going on, and he needed information. Under the circumstances, he couldn’t contact Sharon or Rick. If he did then he would be breaking the judges order. He thought for a moment, and picked up the phone again.
“ER, this is Gladys, how can I help you?” he heard on the other end.
“Hi Gladys, this is Dr. Peterson from Neurology. Can you get me a contact number for one of our ER nurses? I need to call them about a patient. Her name is Rachael Reed.” Peter asked.
“Doctor, I can’t give that information over the phone. If you want to come down to the ER, then I can get you what you need.” she answered him.
“I’ll be there in fifteen minutes.” he said before hanging up the phone and getting up from his desk.
He was on his way out of the office, when Michelle opened the door to enter. She held out a bag to him. “Everything is there Peter.” she said.
Peter pulled his wallet out and handed her a one hundred dollar bill. “Thanks Michelle, I really appreciate it.” he told her taking the bag from her.
“Peter! That’s too much! It didn’t cost but half that.” she told him.
“Hey, don’t worry about it, it was worth it.” he told her with a smile as he left the office on his way to the ICU.
When he entered the unit, he went to the secretary there and informed her that they were going to move Billy to one of the two isolation rooms and left specific instructions that no one was to see him without his specific authorization. Once he wrote the order on the chart, he took the bag of things and went to Billy’s room. April was sitting at the bedside, holding Billy’s little hand in hers, watching him.
“Any change?” Peter asked.
“Not really.” April said as she turned to look at him, her eyes red from tears. She couldn’t help but smile as Peter pulled a Baby Pooh Bear from the bag he held and pulled the tag from it, before laying it in the crook of Billy’s shoulder. Fresh tears burned her eyes as he took a Pooh Bear blanket out and covered him with it after removing it’s tag. Pacifiers were the next thing he pulled out. Breaking open the package, he stepped to the sink and rinsed the nipple of both pacifiers off, dried them and laid them on the bed near Billy’s head. “With any luck, he’ll want these later this evening.” Peter said softly, a note of worry obvious in his tone.
A moment later, he forced himself to consider the situation and told April “We’re moving him to an isolation room. No one is to enter that room without my explicit permission, I don’t care who it is.”.
“OK, I’ll get everything together.” she told him as she got up and started putting stuff on the bed that needed to go with Billy.
They had just moved Billy, when a woman came into the unit and approached the unit secretary. “Hi, I’m Tanya Gleason from social services. I need to check on one of your patients, Billy Avery.” she explained.
The secretary looked up and asked “Can I see some ID showing that you are from Social Services?”.
Tanya, irritated, opened her purse and handed Both her drivers license and her Social Services ID to the secretary.
“One second.” the secretary said and walked to the copier. After making a copy of both, she handed the ID’s back to Tanya and told her “I need to check with Dr. Richardson. The patient is in an isolation room and you will need the doctor’s permission to enter.” she informed Tanya.
Hearing that, Tanya was fuming. “I will see this child if I have to bring a police officer up here with me.” she stated heatedly. How dare they interfere with her doing her job.
The secretary ignored her statement and called Dr. Richardson’s cell number. When he answered she explained that Tanya was there and passed on what she said. Hanging up, she told Tanya “Dr. Richardson will be right with you.” and got up to file the copies of her ID in Billy’s chart.
Fifteen minutes later, Dr. Richardson approached the nurses station. “Is there something I can help you with?” he asked Tanya.
“Yes, I need to see the Avery boy. We’re considering moving him from this hospital to another facility.” she explained with a smirk.
“I see. Well I can tell you right now, he’s not going anywhere. He’s unconscious, on a ventilator, and in critical condition thanks to one of your employees. You can come with me and see him through the window of his room, but I cannot allow you to enter his room as he’s very susceptible to infection right now, and I won’t take a chance on him getting worse by picking up an infection.” Peter told her with a determined expression on his face.
“I’ll have you know that I will see him, whether you like it or not.” she exclaimed heatedly.
“I told you, you can do just that. See him, through the glass.” Peter explained. “Now follow me, or leave the choice is yours.” he added and walked away.
Tanya was livid now, she had no choice but to follow him. When they approached the glass to Billy’s room, Peter pointed to a clear window that showed Billy behind it, hooked to a ventilator, his Pooh Bear, blankie and binky all in plain view. “What is he doing with a pacifier doctor? He’s nine for crying out loud.” she asked angrily.
“If you’d done your job, you would know that the boy spends about eighty percent of his time looking at the world as an infant. If your co-worker had given him his pacifier when she took him from the home, it’s very probable that he wouldn’t be laying there on a ventilator right now. The stress of all of this is what caused this to happen.” Peter explained heatedly.
“I don’t know about what happened on his way here, all I am interested in is seeing him, IN PERSON, and I intend to do that right now.” she stated heading to the door.
Peter motioned to April who was watching from inside the room. April moved to the second set of doors and pushed a button on the door jam. When Tanya approached the door, it wouldn’t open. “I don’t know who you think you are lady, but you are going to be removed from this facility right now for attempting to put my patient in danger.” he told her and walked around the corner.
Tanya heard him tell the secretary to call security up there right now. She knew she had lost this round.
A moment later Peter came back and said “Ms. Gleason, you will be escorted to your vehicle and all security personnel will be instructed not to let you back into the facility. I meant what I said, no one is going to pose a threat to my patient.”. Just as he finished, a security guard came toward them. “Please escort this person to her vehicle and see that she leaves the property. She attempted to put a patient at risk, and is no longer welcome at this facility.” he told the security guard.
The guard took Tanya’s arm and pulled her toward the doors of the unit. Before they left, she turned and told Peter “This isn’t over doctor, I promise you that.” with an angry expression.
Peter answered “You’re right, this has just begun madame, and God help you or your staff if I find you’re responsible for his condition.” with an angry growl.