By Leonileda L. Leong
Julie Marangga was a nurse at the general hospital. She had heard many stories about the hospital she worked in- some were scary, most were sad, but she never paid them any mind. Had she at least heeded their warnings, she might have been better prepared for what happened later. Now she’s in a coma.
“Julie it’s almost 10 O’clock. Leave that to the night shift,” the head nurse told her that fateful evening. “Why don’t you go home early? You’ll be celebrating you first paycheck with your mother tomorrow.”
“It’s okay, manang, I’ll just finish this,” she responded. She seemed to love her work.
“Don’t take the elevator at night,” Julie’s co-workers had advised her. “Besides, the stairs are healthier for you.”
It was past 10 o’clock that night when Julie, together with another nurse from a different station, boarded the elevator on the floor. She had clocked out and was on her way home. The hospital halls were quiet; visitors hours had ended more than an hour ago, and the night shift had long settled in. Before the elevator doors closed. a doctor called out to them. “Hold the elevator,” he said.
Julie stopped the door from closing. The doctor nodded his thanks and pressed the “G” button upon entering. As the doors closed, Julie saw a child making his way to the elevator. “Dok, sandali, may bata pang sasakay (Doc, wait, a child wants to get in),” Julie said.
The doctor hurriedly pressed the “Door close’ button. “Huwag mong pansinin ang batang iyan, patay na siya. Nakita mo ba ang wristband na suot niya? Iyan ang kulay na suot ng mga bangkay sa morgue ( Don’t mind that kid), he was already dead. Did you see the wristband he was wearing? That’s the color the bodies wear in the morgue),” said the doctor.
Julie suddenly could not speak. The nurse beside her calmly extended her hand and asked. “Like this one?”Julie saw that the wristband the nurse was wearing was exactly the same as that of the child’s. Julie fainted.
The next day she went into a coma. It was said that the week before, another nurse had been rushed to the hospital, heavily bleeding after an accident. The nurse didn’t make it. Hospitals have more than enough death stories, but that doesn’t help Mrs. Marangga, who doesn’t know whether she could be grateful that her daughter was alive but in a coma.
The doctor accompanied her to Julie’s hospital room. He was used to these things already but what was he going to tell Julie’s mother.