Book Excerpt starting page 99
The phone rang with that loud mid 1970’s jarring sound. Wearing my flannelette nightgown I jumped out of bed and half asleep ran to the hall in front of my bedroom. We did not have portable phones, pagers or cell phones; we had only seen such devices on Star Trek.
“Hello” I said trying to chase the cobwebs of sleep from my mind.
“It's Bill” the familiar voice said, “can you come and assist, we have a case of gunshot wound to the abdomen?”
“Sure, be right there” I answered as expected and hung up the phone.
I was not surprised as we were always on call. There were four or five doctors in town but we could all be needed at any time. It was dark as usual but I only realized it was 4:10 am when I glanced at the clock. I knew it was around 40 below zero outside, a cold that would kill a lightly dressed person in 20 minutes. I dressed as fast as I could, putting on jeans, a light sweater, wind-pants, a heavy sweater, my muskrat fur parka with fur hood, scarf, fur mitts and big boots. All this for my two block walk to the hospital.
The cold air woke me up completely. The night was clear and thin columns of smoke could be seen rising from the dark houses. My feet crunched on the thin layer of snow covering the wooden sidewalks. It was hard to breathe so I pulled my scarf over my nose to prevent frostbite.
Our one main street was deserted and the low dark hospital buildings glowed with light. I walked through the emergency door and the lone nurse on call waved a greeting as I started down the hall towards the OR, peeling off the layers of clothing as I went.
Angelo had arrived and was getting ready.
“Hello” he said speaking to me in French, “this poor man was shot in the stomach, we must open him up”