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Saving a life: A doctor's duty -- a husband's, too

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posted on Mar, 6 2011 @ 02:13 PM
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As he cradled his wife's limp body in his arms, Tim Delgado told himself, "You have to do this."




Through tears, he said, "I'm sorry, babe."


Then, he stabbed her neck.





Alison's eyes shot open. She gurgled in pain and weakly clawed at the tracheotomy tube that pierced her throat.









It was November 21, 2010, and just a few minutes earlier, the newlyweds had climbed into bed. Married just six months and focused on their careers, the couple hadn't even had time to pick out wedding photos to frame for their new house. Now all that -- and more -- would be put on hold.

They were getting ready to sleep when an aneurysm ruptured in Alison's brain, triggering a violent seizure.

Without an airway tube to help her breathe, she could have choked on her own vomit and died. For Tim, a second-year medical resident, jamming a tube in his wife's neck without drugs "was the most difficult thing I ever had to do."

What Tim Delgado experienced that night ranks as one of the greatest fears of people in the field of medicine -- that someday, the life they must save will be a loved one's.

Incredibly, it was the second time Alison's life depended on Tim -- and on this day, he was going to keep his cool.











Around 5 o'clock, the radio crackled, summoning him to the helicopter pad.

"20-year-old cyclist struck by car. Female. Head injury."

The victim had already been moved from the accident scene to a small hospital. Her injuries were extensive. She needed the more sophisticated resources of a facility like University Hospital, nine miles away.

Tim rushed to the helicopter, his mind racing. He was still new to flying, with only 25 to 30 flights behind him, but he was joined by Deb Jump, a flight nurse with 10 years' experience.

It took them just seven minutes to arrive at Mercy Hospital. They rushed to the patient's side.

Tim glanced at her vital signs. She was in a coma. Her breathing was slow; her heart rate low. High blood pressure indicated an increasing strain on her brain.

Her head was cushioned between two blocks with a collar to keep her neck steady. A breathing tube was in her mouth.

As Tim assessed the situation, the patient's cycling uniform caught his eye. She wore a blue, yellow and green jersey that read "Team Hungry."

That's my cycling team, he thought.

His eyes inched up to the patient's face. He stepped back.

The accident had mangled her jaw and splattered blood across her chin.


"This is my wife," he said.













Silence fell over the room.

Tim felt like he had been "stabbed in the gut." He leaned down to Alison and wept.

She had gone for a bike ride that early evening on a winding road about 15 miles from their home. A Hyundai Sonata turned left at an intersection and careened into Alison. The impact catapulted her over the car roof, breaking her jaw, collarbone and sternum, and bruising her heart and lungs.

The driver, cited for failure to yield, had waited with Alison for the ambulance.

Now, the bleeding inside her skull was putting pressure on her brain. She needed to be transported immediately.





Doctors didn't expect her to survive the first night.





She had hemorrhaging in the brain. A scan showed two aneurysms, or ballooning in the artery walls. It wasn't clear whether they existed before the accident or were caused by it.

That night, as their families swarmed the hospital, Tim lay exhausted on the waiting room floor. He told his older sister that Alison couldn't die. He was too young to be widowed.

They had more mountains to climb, a whole life awaiting them.

Tim had proposed to Alison during a mountain bike ride. Their life together wasn't supposed to end because of a cycling trip.




Little by little, the swelling in Alison's head decreased. The internal bleeding in her brain stopped. Alison had worn a helmet, and doctors believe that protected her.

Five days after the accident, she awoke from the coma. She was delirious and agitated; she tried to crawl out of bed and pull out her feeding tubes.

Grateful his wife was alive, Tim's concerns shifted to the next challenge. She couldn't move her right arm. Sometimes, she slurred her words and confused Tim's name with her brother's.

"My biggest fear was that she would be neurologically devastated and lose the ability to communicate," Tim says, "that she wasn't going to be able to live the life that she worked so hard for."

But there was reason to hope.

After two weeks, Alison achieved a small but significant milestone: She clutched a spoon in her right hand and fed herself soup. Delighted by her progress, Tim told her, "Ali, I love you."

"I wuv you, too," she replied.














Since her accident, Alison has had 12 surgeries to her brain, chest and jaw. Tim took a three-month leave to care for her.




They wear matching Vibram rubber shoes that squish against the gym floor.

In one of her exercises, Alison gingerly stands on a rubber balance ball. Her husband protectively leans in, arms extended to catch her in case she falls.

"You don't need me anymore," he teases, as she stands tall and maintains her balance.

She smiles and pokes him in the chest. He nudges her right back.








www.cnn.com...





This is one of the most amazing stories I've ever come across. It is truly a rare occurrence for her to have survived this ordeal, and that her husband was her guardian angel on both occasions. While it's hard to find any good news in this time of uncertainty, it's comforting to know that small miracles can still happen.

edit on 6-3-2011 by v1rtu0s0 because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 6 2011 @ 02:20 PM
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That's a beautiful story, thanks for sharing.
I hope it inspires people to remember what's important in life.



posted on Mar, 6 2011 @ 02:25 PM
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It's always good to read about something a little more positive and as beautiful as this story. Think we should make an effort to balance out all the negative stories that bombard us daily with something a little more inspiring.

Thanks for this one


It's a truly amazing story.



posted on Mar, 6 2011 @ 02:41 PM
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posted on Mar, 6 2011 @ 02:48 PM
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posted on Mar, 6 2011 @ 02:49 PM
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reply to post by Miraj
 


Whats wrong with a little bit of hope and inspiration amongst all of the doom saying and sky falling paranoia?

We need something to remind us about how truly good and decent human beings can truly be from time to time in amongst the constant minute by minute updates of divorce hatred rape murder war and corruption.

Nice thread v1



posted on Mar, 6 2011 @ 02:50 PM
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Originally posted by Miraj
Pretty common story.

The only thing different is a husband medical student. That happens too.

But none of it really interests me, pretty common stuff.


Oh it's common? Neat, please link me to more examples. I am really interested to read them.

And how come you are reading about it and posting about it, if you are not interested in it in the first place? Strange paradox that is.

I would dare say that it's an uncommon story about something rare in this day and age, true love and devotion. Something we could all learn a thing or two from.

I read this story yesterday and I found it quite enlightening and I believe it serves as an example for what I believe humanity and life are all about.

If only more people felt that way, the world would certainly be a better place.



posted on Mar, 6 2011 @ 02:53 PM
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Thanks for the outstanding reply.

This is pretty common, could you provide some identical examples?

Thanks


Originally posted by Miraj
Pretty common story.

The only thing different is a husband medical student. That happens too.

But none of it really interests me, pretty common stuff.



posted on Mar, 6 2011 @ 03:06 PM
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Since her accident, Alison has had 12 surgeries to her brain, chest and jaw. Tim took a three-month leave to care for her.


oh yea I see this every day



sure it was sappy story. they buttered it way up, but thats no reason to be so complacent and cynical about a couple living and loving life.

I am glad she is making progress it could have ended much worse. s+F for a great mushy story.
edit on 3/6/2011 by -W1LL because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 6 2011 @ 04:38 PM
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reply to post by Kali74
 

Really isn't.

Nothing exceptional happened here. A guy did a tracheotomy. That's not a big deal.


I guess it is pretty inspirational if you have never been anywhere near emergency situations.



posted on Mar, 6 2011 @ 04:40 PM
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posted on Mar, 6 2011 @ 04:42 PM
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posted on Mar, 6 2011 @ 04:46 PM
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Originally posted by Miraj
reply to post by v1rtu0s0
 


Oh yeah.

I also want to note.

This man is -not- A Doctor.

He is a medical student. Being a medical student doesn't make you a Doctor.



excuse me did you not read the opening post? the woman he saved is his wife , now that to me is a damn good loving husband ... and he has earned the respect from this thread ..



posted on Mar, 6 2011 @ 04:48 PM
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posted on Mar, 6 2011 @ 04:49 PM
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reply to post by alysha.angel
 


He was probably doing clinical rotations for his medical school.

You can't show up to an emergency situation and do nothing(usually). He would have the same things whether it were his wife or any other patient.



posted on Mar, 6 2011 @ 04:51 PM
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reply to post by SlovenlyGhost
 


Someone has to be realistic.

Nothing special happened.

I know plenty of paramedics that have showed up to treat very close family members.

It just doesn't get talked about because theirs no shiny helicopters involved.



posted on Mar, 6 2011 @ 04:52 PM
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posted on Mar, 6 2011 @ 04:54 PM
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Originally posted by Miraj
reply to post by muzzleflash
 


I'd give you examples..
But the thousands of similar stories that happen are protected by federal law.


Now that is funny.


Federal law prevents you from google searching similar news stories? How come this one slipped through the super secret federal law net



posted on Mar, 6 2011 @ 04:56 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Mar, 6 2011 @ 04:57 PM
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