“I am a massive fan of a popular TV series, and the minute I found out we were writing a short story, I knew what I wanted to write! My aunt is an ER (emergency medicine) physician, and I’ve been around that kind of stuff most of my life! I did some research on some surgeries and things like that, but for the most part, I did this with the ideas that popped into my head! I want to be a surgeon one day, but I also love to write, so I put the two together and that is how this story was created!”
by Josie, Age 14
“I want to be the best!”
This is a phrase many people at the top of their field say, including Dr Addison Griffin, a general surgeon at Lakeway Regional Medical Center. She and her best friend, cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr Laurie Rodriguez, aspire to be the best at what they do. Not just in their fields, but the best in their profession. Their lives consist of 36-hour shifts, lots of blood, and trying to save every single person’s life that walks into the hospital. Surgery is what they live, love, and breathe. It gives purpose to their lives—even through all the struggles and complaints.
“I wish this shift would end,” says Addison with exasperation.
“I know. It feels like I’m going to fall asleep in the middle of a surgery,” responds Laurie.
Dr Addison Griffin and Dr Laurie Rodriguez have been working for just around 26 hours straight when a small boy is rushed to the ER. Every working surgeon is paged to the pit. The boy is unconscious, and his parents rush in behind him. From a distance, Addison can’t really see what’s going on, so she sprints to the front of the mob of doctors. Addison starts to assess the situation while Laurie assists in whatever is needed. Dr Griffin is a general surgeon covering the stomach area, while Dr Laurie Rodriguez is a cardiothoracic specialist, covering the heart and lungs and anything in between. As of right now, there is no one in place as the head surgeon because no one knows what’s wrong with the boy. Dr Griffin orders a CT to see if there is anything wrong internally, and also to rule out any abnormalities. Next thing you know, Chief Eleanor Watson rushes into the pit.
“Griffin, you’re in charge of this whole deal. I’ve got to run, don’t screw anything up.”
Everyone in the hospital, especially Dr Griffin, is on their toes, waiting for the scans to come through. The boy was intubated and getting constant fluids into his body that were missing from his system. Dr Griffin is now in charge, and anything that happens to Jack is her full and total responsibility. His life is literally in her hands.
Tick-Tock-Tick-Tock. The time passes by, seemingly taking ages for the scans to show up. Though CT scans do take a good amount of time, it doesn’t make the wait anymore calming to the nerves.
“BEEEEEP!” screeches the machines that slowly release Jack from the chamber.
Addison jumps towards the computer, to finally see what was wrong with him. “No way,” she said. “It can’t be!” Dr Griffin quickly retrieves Jack from the chamber and starts yelling, “I need an OR right now!” Everyone runs along with her to find out what the heck is going on.
“Do you have any diagnosis?” said Laurie somewhat calmly.
“It’s a thoracic aortic dissection!” the words nearly jumped out of her mouth.
A thoracic aortic dissection is a tear in the deepest layer of the heart and has only been done once in the history of the world of surgery. It’s only been performed by a doctor in Russia named Dmitri Kolenkov, one of the most talented cardiothoracic to ever live. Dr Rodriguez has looked up to him for years and copies most of his record-breaking techniques in almost every surgery she does.
This is an all hands on deck surgery, which means that if you’re in the hospital, you’re helping. The viewing area is floods with people who want to watch the first surgery of its kind be performed in the United States. Hearts are beating, and palms are sweating. No one knows how to do this operation except for Dr Addison Griffin and Dr Laurie Hernandez. It is not yet known by anyone who will be the top dog to perform this seemingly impossible procedure.
Chief Watson sprints into OR #2, and yells, “Griffin you’re taking the lead!”
“What, me?” Addison says very nervously.
Laurie is standing there in complete shock that she wasn’t chosen for the coveted lead surgeon role. I mean, she is the cardiothoracic chief of surgery. She would be the shoe-in for this job, wouldn’t she? But whatever Chief Watson says goes, and she wants Dr Griffin to take the reigns on this one.
“Let’s get this rockin’ n rollin’,” Addison says now completely calm and confident.
She makes the first cut of a very long 12-hour surgery with complete and total precision. Hours and hours and hours go by, then all of the sudden Jack goes into V-Fib.
Addison grabs the internal paddles and yells, “Charge to 200, clear!,” everyone backs away. Addison starts to perform CPR and continually shocking his heart to get a solid rhythm back. After about 3 minutes, Jack’s heart starts to beat normally again and everyone goes back to autopilot. The surgery has gone according to plan so far, and all that’s left to do is close back up the boy’s heart and chest. He starts to go back into V-Fib, but this time they had trouble getting him back.
“Paddles, charge top 250, CLEAR!” Again everyone back away as this process goes on for close to 10 min, alternating CPR techniques and shocking the heart.
“I don’t know if he’s coming back?” Laurie shouts.
“He hasn’t given up on me, so I refuse to give up on him!” Addison says with a strong, passionate tone of voice—determined to be successful.
After lots of dreadful minutes, Jack’s heartbeat goes back to normal and the surgery is finally complete. Dr Addison Griffin is now only the 2nd surgeon to complete the hardest operation ever to be done. Laurie is infuriated with Addison and quite jealous of her success which she feels should have been hers. Her best friend haS stolen her spotlight, and she feels not only betrayed by her best friend but her chief of surgery who completely ignored her talents.
Dr Griffin checks Jack into the ICU and goes to inform the parents that their child will continue to live a completely healthy life. She walks with grace and confidence towards Jack’s parents, with a gargantuan beaming smile.
“Jack is completely fine, the surgery went very well,” Addison says.
“Oh thank you, thank you for helping our little boy!” says Mrs Brewer with joy and tears in her eyes.
Addison walks back to the attendee lounge with a slight skip in her step, to find Laurie sulking in her disappointment. Addison is currently on an emotional high, while Laurie is emotionally as low as you can go.
“I know you’re mad, but you assisted me, and I couldn’t have done it without you.”
Laurie snaps back. “I am a cardiothoracic surgeon, and this is what I live for. That surgery would’ve made me the real deal, and I missed out.”
“This isn’t the last record-breaking surgery to ever be done, and I guarantee you will invent one someday,” Addison says in a calming and caring voice.
“You know what? You’re right, I mean you always are. I will be a great surgeon!”
“That you will, hotshot!” agrees Addison, as the two friends head down the hallway to call it a day.
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