SNEAK PEAK

“Mark, stay with us, you’re not leaving us today. Darn it, stay with us. You’ve got this.”

Mark was flat on his back in the middle of the court. He had triumphed with a good win that morning and fifteen minutes earlier he had just taken the court with a strong player from Wake Forest. Now, he had no pulse or breath. He was dead. The defibrillator’s electronic voice echoed “No pulse, continue shocking.” “This isn’t happening,” I thought to myself. The air was still and uncomfortable. I felt responsible. Three strong young men took turns, attacking chest
compressions to exhaustion, as the defibrillator continued to fail at gaining a reading. It was over and then, bang, it worked. There was a small breath as Mark’s eyes began to twitter. Mark was making the ultimate comeback in front of countless players and fans. Mark was alive. The crowd of players, coaches, and fans took a breath with him.

Now, he had no pulse or breath. He was dead. The defibrillator’s electronic voice echoed “No pulse, continue shocking.”

Mark’s comeback was a team effort. There were many people involved who played vitals roles. Numerous caring people who went into action. There’s no question that Mark was in the right place at the right time. There’s just no way he survives in isolation. People caring about people was in its finest moment.

As the EMS team rolled Mark’s stretcher into the ambulance, a frightening quiet permeated the air. I jumped into a police car and away we went. The ambulance was directly in front of us. Both vehicles were flashing their lights and the traffic on the busy highway parted, as we sped to Duke Medical Center.

News traveled fast. From the police car, I spoke with our college president and our athletic director, updating them on what we were up against. All the while, my mind kept diverting to Mark’s parents who were in Madagascar. What was I going to say? I felt unprepared for whatever was going to happen next. Was he going to make it? The policeman explained that things were likely going well in the ambulance as long as it didn’t pull over. I fervently prayed as if Mark was my own son.

Once we arrived at the hospital, Mark was rushed behind the walls of the emergency room, while I paced the floor in the waiting area. I felt a common bond with the people who were waiting in the packed emergency room. We were there because we cared for someone else.

Most of us looked scared…

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My hope is that my writing can be helpful to people who go through adversity so they can see that good is sometimes right around the corner.
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