Date: June 15, 2002

Title: Learning to Live (1-8/10?)

Author: Lara W


Show: ER

Rating: PG-13

Paring: K/K/Maggie Doyle

Plot: Sandy is fatally injured in a massive fire. Kerry must cope with the loss.

Disclaimer: Christina, Paul, Cassandra jr., Dr. Coleman, Raquel, Shelby and DK are mine. The rest belong to NBC.


Part 3 Goodbye

Maggie comes back out. She has a look on her face. It is the one of a doctor with very bad news. "Kerry, Mrs. Lopez, I have bad news," she sits down beside us, "Sandy suffered minor smoke inhalation, broken right -fib, left femur and -fib, and a serious spinal injury. She is paralyzed from the diaphragm down she has full-thickness second degree burns to her arms, hands, face, and chest and third degree burns on her legs." I can't believe this.I look at Maggie and ask the fated question, "What percent?" Maggie knows the medical importance of this question. "Over 75% surface area. Her odds aren't good. She probably only has 12 hours, maybe less. I'm so sorry."I break down crying. I'm going to lose her. I look at Maggie, "Dr. Doyle, can we have a few minutes alone?" Maggie nods and says, "Yes, of course, you can see her whenever." I look at Mrs. Lopez and start, "Raquel, I don't want her to suffer. If it's okay I'm going to tell the doctors nothing heroic, just fluids, pain meds and O2." Raquel looks at me, "Is that best?" This is hard. I want to say no and force Sandy to fight. "Yes, she'll go comfortably. Raquel, she'd never be the same woman we love. Yes, we'd still love her, but even if she made it, she'd be in a wheelchair and have horrible scars." Raquel looks at me, "I never wanted to bury my daughter, but you're right." I call Maggie over; she knows how hard this is. "We decided. Let us say goodbye, then only palliative care. Also, can you call Father Michael McKay to come give her last rites?" She leads us to the Trauma Room. I let Raquel go in first. I notice the large number of firefighters standing around. I walk up to Captain . I pause and take a deep breath. "ell the guys the burns are just too bad. She's not going to make it." He places a hand on my arm. "We're all so sorry; you have our deepest prayers." I know he's being polite, "Thank you." Raquel waves me in. Sandy is awake; I can see the pain in her eyes. I'm on the edge of tears. "Raquel, can I have a few minutes?" She leaves. I take Sandy's hand, "How's the pain?" I'm using doctor-mode to hold myself together. "Okay. I can't feel the worst of the injuries, thankfully.Kerry, I love you and Christina and our son." I remember our discussion on his name, "Paul," I whisper, it's the name she wanted all along. "Thank you, Kerry. I love you." I lose it and start crying. I love her so much. She looks up at me, "Hush, hush, darling. I'll be okay." I take her hand, I can't finish the sentence. "I understand. I always knew the risk." She's right; she never believed she'd always make it out safe. She knew this would likely be her death. She looks at me in the eyes, almost confused, " am I going to die? The doctors won't be honest." I lose it and start crying. I hate giving this news to families. How do I tell my beloved?"Yes, you're dying." She looks at me, "The kids?" She is worried about Christina and Paul. "I'll tell them all about you, I promise." She is crying too. This is so hard. "Sandy, I love you. Just let go." Her eyes close. I can tell it won't be too long. Maggie comes in with a large dose of morphine. "Kerry, it might help her along, but she'll be pain-free." Maggie wants my approval; how can I give her the blessing she wants. I nod, and kiss Sandy's forehead. "Go ahead, just so she is comfortable."