Monday, August 31, 2009

Midnight

I hate midnight phone calls, I really do. Unless there is a baby due somewhere, they rarely bring good news. The one tonight, although slightly before midnight, was not about newborn babies.
Our neighbors across the street are older (yes, even older than us!) and in poor health. We got an emergency call from them a few months ago. Bob was unresponsive - I thought stroke. But his wife called us instead of 911. We called for the rescue squad while trying to get him to respond. It took 8 days in the hospital and a diagnosis of "We don't really know", but he came home and did great. He went back to doing all the cooking and took care of his wife when she had a second knee replacement last month.
But tonight, he was not breathing. And his wife called us instead of 911. I called as soon as we got there; no pulse, no respiration. Ronald darling tried CPR at the request of the 911 operator. He had to get Bob's teeth out of his mouth first (I know, sorry about that) and then made an attempt. But it was obvious that he was gone. He was cold, his eyes were open, no blinking, no pulse, nothing.
The rescue squad got there very quickly, although it always seems like forever. They asked about a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) but he didn't have one and she said to do "whatever it takes". So they spent the next 30 or 40 minutes trying to bring him back, they put in an IV and did who knows what all else. Six EMTs working in a bedroom about 10 by 10. They were getting ready to put him on a stretcher and take him to the hospital when we left. She had called her stepson to come down; he lives just around the corner. He and his wife were with her when we came home.
If they get him breathing again, I will be shocked... and grateful. Bob is a real sweetie.

2 comments:

Jill said...

How very sad. What an honor that they called you first both time. They must really appreciate your friendship and feel comforted by you & Ronald Darling. What a blessing for you both.

allthenewsthatfits said...

One of the people working on him was your fire chief, an extremely professional paramedic. He did get him breathing again, but unfortunately he passed away later.

Iam sorry you lost a good friend, and pray you can continue to give comfort to his wife.