THE FINAL CHOICE, Part 2
Spoilers: For parts of Season 7.
Timeline: After "Witch Hunt" (S7E16).
Story: Follows The Final Choice: Part One Rating: PG
This scene continues from the Emergency Room.
Benton: All right, let's get her to surgery.
At this point, Kim lets go of Kerry's hand, oblivious to everyone's eyes on her. Abby takes a hold of Kim and walks her out to the desk. An entourage of staff is moving Kerry to the elevator to take her to surgery.
Eight hours has passed and Kerry finally is in the recovery room. She is intubated, on life support, and has six lines in her giving her fluids. One line is still giving her blood, another line is giving her dopamine for her blood pressure, two lines are giving her saline for fluids, one line is giving her antibiotics to fight of infection and the last line is giving her morphine for the pain. At this point, she has no spontaneous respirations, her heart rate is 110, her blood pressure is 94/50, and her oxygenation is 100%. Benton is happy with these vitals, but knows Kerry is not out of the woods yet. She needs the dopamine to maintain an adequate BP. She was down for 20 minutes. Silently he is praying there is no long-term brain damage.
Benton now leaves the PACU, going to look for Kim. He has figured out that Kim and Kerry were involved.
Benton: Kim ...
Kim: How is she?
Kim is unable to look at Benton. Her eyes are glued onto the floor. Over the past eight hours she had prepared herself for the worst. She knew Kerry was critical. She had seen it before; she had prepared herself to start the grieving process all over again. Kim knew the longer patients were in the OR, the higher the mortality rate was from complications.
Benton: The first bullet nicked her aorta, then punctured her lung. We were able to successfully suture the aorta, and had to put a chest tube in to fix the pneumothorax. She lost a lot of blood. The second bullet hit her in the shoulder, shattering her bone. The ortho surgeon had to put in pins to correct the break. Her shoulder is immobilized and I think she will recover from that fine. Right now, we've got to keep her BP up, I've got her heavily sedated and on life support. The next 24 hours will give us a better idea of how she will do.
At this Kim pulled both her hands to cover her face and started weeping. She was truly exhausted and had lost all control of her emotions.
Kim: Can I see her?
Benton: Sure, but only for a few minutes. They'll be moving her to the Surgical ICU soon.
Benton hadn't really had time to think about Kim and Kerry together until now. He knew the policy was not to let anyone in to PACU, but knew if it were Cleo in there he would want to see her also. He also made a mental note to right an order allowing Kim into the SICU, the policy stated only immediate family was allowed to visit.
Benton took Kim by the shoulder and walked her into PACU.
Kim's face grimaced when she saw Kerry. She took in the whole scene in a split second ... there was a chest tube canister on the side of the bed, bubbling every time the vent gave Kerry a breath, IV poles were everywhere, the ventilator was giving Kerry a breath every four seconds, her shoulder was wrapped with a shoulder cast attached to her other shoulder to keep it from moving, and she had a tube in her mouth attached to the vent. Tears were still flowing from her eyes.
She walked so slowly to Kerry. Took her right hand and gave it a small squeeze and gently placed a kiss on Kerry's forehead. All of a sudden, the heart monitor alarmed and Kim jerked her head up; Kerry's heart rate had jumped to 120 just for a split second, then calmed down again. This brought a smile to Kim's face, but wanted to try it again. She leaned over and kissed Kerry on the cheek this time, and the heart monitor alarmed again. Kim knew that Kerry was there even though she couldn't move or speak.
Benton: Kim, you're going to have to leave know, Kerry needs to rest.
24 hours later
Kim had kept a vigil at Kerry's bedside. Kerry's BP had stabilized, so they were able to wean her off of the dopamine, they hadn't needed to give her anymore blood and were weaning her off of the morphine to try to wake her. The vent was set in CPAP so she was doing all the breathing on her own. They had just drawn blood gases to see if they could extubate her. All Kim could do was sit there and hold Kerry's hand. Benton had just walked in.
Benton: Kim, you look exhausted. Have you been here the whole time?
Kim: Yes, I needed to be here so she wouldn't feel alone. I don't even know if she knows I'm here, but I just needed to be here.
Benton nodded his head, but was worried about Kim. He made a mental note to talk to Carl to come see Kim.
Benton: I just got her blood gases back, they're good. Her oxygen level is still a little low, but we can give her supplemental O2 to correct that. I'm going to take the endo tube out now, so you're going to have to leave for a few minutes.
Kim got up to leave, placing Kerry's hand gently on the bed. She knew what was going to happen. Just as she stepped away from the bed, Kerry's heart monitor alarmed, her heart rate had gone up again. Kim knew that Kerry's heart belonged to her. This brought a small smile across her face. Benton noticed this and realized how much Kerry loved Kim, even in this comatose state, Kerry was responding to Kim. This was good, he thought.
One week later:
Kerry was healing fine from the wounds she had endured. She had been transferred out of the SICU and into the private VIP room. She wasn't getting any more morphine, the chest tube had been removed and the only IV she had left was the one giving her nutrients. What was puzzling was she wasn't waking up.
Carl had come to see Kim. He talked to her for many hours about what was going on. Luckily the psych ward wasn't too busy so he was able to give Kim the time off. He was concerned about her, she hadn't left the hospital since the shooting, but he knew Kim wouldn't listen to him to take some time for herself, so he decided to help her out in whatever way he could. He brought Kim in clean clothes, food, and the toiletries she needed.
Carl: Did they do the EEG yet?
Kim: Yes, it showed normal brain activity. No one knows why she isn't waking up. I don't get it.
Kim started crying again. Why, why won't you wake up Kerry? I'll be here for you, I'll hold you, caress you, never let you go again, please come back to me Kerry, please.
Carl: Maybe she needs to clear some things up before she comes back. You've heard about the near death experiences, I hate to say it, but Kerry needs time.
Ahhh, there you are Kim. I've been looking for you. I never realized just how big this hospital was. Oh hi Carl, thanks for letting Kim stay with me. She's really kept me grounded here. Please don't cry Kim, everything is going to be okay.
Lucy, oh, is it good to see you. What are you doing here? I've missed you so much. Give me a hug. Let's go for a walk. I know you miss Carter. I really believe he loves you too. Okay, let's go see him.
Hey Carter, look who's here? Gosh he looks so tired, so alone. Lucy, where are you going? Look, she's hugging him. That's the first time I've seen him smile in a while.
Carter: Hey, Abby,
Carter: I just got this overwhelming feeling that everything is going to be okay. It's weird, but I felt this release, it sounds corny, but I felt this release in my heart. I dunno, maybe I'm losing it.
Abby: You are weird, Carter. When do you get off?
Carter: 6:00, do you want to have dinner?
They do make a cute couple, I wonder when they will get together? Lucy, sure I'll tell Carter you love him. He'll be happy to know I saw you. Gosh that light is beautiful. That's where you're going, isn't it, Lucy? Go in peace my friend, go in peace.
2 Days Later
Kim is still keeping vigil at Kerry's bedside. Nothing has changed, Kerry is still not waking up. Physical therapy had come up and shown Kim some exercises to do with Kerry, so she didn't lose her muscle tone. Kim did this passionately; it's all she could do. She kept telling Kerry stories of the way things were going to be. Where they were going go, different countries they were going to visit.
Romano walked in, disturbing Kerry's workout.
Romano: How is she doing?
Kim: The same, I don't know what to do.
Kim sighed with exhaustion at this.
Romano: I talked to Carl, he told me his idea of this out of body experience. At first I thought it was some psyche bullshit, but I've done some investigation.
Kim looked at him with a raised eyebrow. What did he care, he was the reason all this happened. The reason that she and Kerry had split up. God she despised this man.
Romano: Kim, I'm sorry about everything. I'm such an idiot, I let my personal feelings reflect in my work. It's a little too late I'm sure, but I want to make this right. What I came here to tell you is that I've done some research. I talked with the head of the Psychiatric unit at Boston Medical Center. They suggested we bring Kerry's house to her. If she feels more at home, she may want to come back to earth with us. I don't know if it would work, but I'm willing to give it a try. What do you think?
Kim: I'll try anything to get her back, but what can we bring?
Romano: I've already talked with the Board Of Directors and they have given us the okay, of course if it's okay with you. The maintenance department will go to her house, bring her bed, bureau, whatever you think.
Kim: Okay, tell them I'll meet them over there tomorrow at eight in the morning. Thanks Robert, I do appreciate your effort, this means a lot.
What the hell is Romano doing in here, Kim? He's such a prick. And why are you smiling at him? Has this world turned against me? I think I'm going to be sick ...
As Romano is leaving, Carl enters the room a little surprised to see him in there.
Carl: Is everything okay? He's not giving you a hard time is he?
Kim: No, but let me tell you about this ...
After about 10 minutes, Carl had to excuse himself, he had a new admit upstairs, a little girl who had lost her mother in a fire a few months ago. She was not adapting well in her foster home, not talking, not sleeping, and when she did, she would wake up screaming.
The Next Day:
Kim met the maintenance guys at Kerry's house. She had them bring the bed, the pictures of Africa, what else, I don't know. Oh yeah, the hairdryer, the silk pajamas and oh I don't know. That's a good start.
Maria, oh my God, I'm so sorry. If I could turn back time, I would. I shouldn't have called the INS, if it wasn't for me, you would still be with your daughter. Please forgive me, please!!! Sure I can go for a walk, where are we going. Why are we going to the psyche ward? Is Kim up here? Wait a minute, this is the pediatric side. Room 4, what's this about Maria. That's your daughter isn't it? She is so beautiful, but so sad. What have I done? What can I do to make this up to you? Do you mind if we sit here for a while, I want to make sure she's okay. Thanks Maria.
Meanwhile, downstairs, the staff was setting up Kerry's stuff. Once the bed was put together, and the silk sheets placed on it, they gently placed Kerry in it. They put up all the pictures, placed down the rug, then left Kerry and Kim together. It had taken longer than they had expected, it was almost seven at night. Kim was exhausted, so decided to take a shower.
Maria, what can I do to make this right? Your daughter needs a full-time mother, and I took that away from her. Please tell me what I can do? Look at her, she is so bright, so pretty and so alone. What is it you want me to do, wait, I know what I can do. Is this okay with you, Maria, good!!! I know you have to go know, go in peace and I'll give your love to your daughter.
When Kim was done with her shower, she blow-dried her hair. She was going to sleep next to Kerry tonight, to hold her, to make her feel secure or make herself feel secure, she wasn't sure which one. But she was going to be there. She put on her silk pajamas, and slid into bed next to Kerry. She lay on her side and placed her arm around Kerry's stomach. It didn't take long for her to fall asleep.
God Kim, you are so beautiful. I've missed holding you. I'm so tired, I need to sleep, I'm going to lie down for a while. I've got so much to do tomorrow.
The next morning:
As Kim started to wake up, she felt like she was being watched. First she thought a nurse or someone was in the room. When she opened her eyes, she couldn't see anyone. Oh well. She felt good, she hadn't really had a good nights sleep since this whole ordeal had started. I'm just going to lie here for a little while.
Kerry: Good morning sweetheart.
Kim: Good morning honey ... KERRY ...
Kim jumped up, looking at Kerry, she couldn't believe it. Then her emotions took over, she grabbed Kerry so tight, forgetting about her injuries, hugging kissing her face and crying. She heard a faint groan coming from Kerry.
Kim: Oh, did I hurt you? I'm sorry, oh my God, I can't believe your awake, how do you feel, do you know how long you've been asleep, do you remember what happened, do you ...
Kerry: Kim, shut up and quit your babbling, just hold me.
Kim: Oh Kerry, I've missed you soooo much. Kim and Kerry laid there for what seemed an eternity, then reality set in.
Kim: I have to go get someone, anyone, to let them know you're awake. Do you mind?
Kerry: No, just hurry back.