I have said before, holidays in the ICU are very sad. There is the festive feeling, but with a sad undertone. Its a surreal environment. I saw one of the saddest
things in my career last night. An 18 year old college freshman was on the way back from a sporting event, riding (with the rest of the freshmen) with a very elderly coach. The remainder of the team was following in the school van. The coach had some kind of medical event, went off the highway and, without hitting the brakes, hit a tree. The coach was killed on scene
. The kids in the backseat had scrapes and bruises. The 18 year
old in the front was flown to our hospital, unresponsive. He was in another ICU for about a week before he came to us. He has damaged the blood vessels that supply the brain and they are now a ticking time bomb.
His parents have been there every day. I think they are on the verge of withdrawing care. Last night we let dad in early. He stood by his son's bed and read Scientific American out loud
. This, he said, was their Thanksgiving tradition. They would read this over dinner and discuss it. So after he read the article he started to discuss it with his son. Talk about heartbreaking.