Disclaimer: I claim no ownership to Third Watch or it's characters. This is purely for fun, and I am making no money from this story.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts and opinions.
Alex Taylor was a fire fighter, before the accident, she used to be a paramedic, and on occasion still worked paramedic shifts, though she hated them, in her words, "I'm a firefighter, I'm not a medic anymore". It added insult to injury that she was injured while working as a paramedic.
Alex had been waiting with an elderly couple, who were trapped in their car, in a six car accident. Ignoring the danger to herself, ignoring her bosses ordering her to move to safety, Alex stayed kneeling on the trunk of another car, a car that's engine was on fire; unbeknown to everyone, held a propane gas tank.
No sooner had Taylor's lieutenant, Lieutenant Johnson ordered her off the car for the tenth time, than the car Alex was sitting on exploded.
She felt herself being thrown through the air, as she crashed back down to earth, all Alex was aware of was the pain. Praying that someone would hear her, she called out, as loudly as she could, it came out as barely a whisper, "Please, someone help me, please."
Three people heard Alex's call for help. Kim Zambrano, one of her closest friends on the job. Carlos Nieto, her sometimes partner. And Ty Davis, an NYPD officer who had once been her boyfriend.
They found Alex lying on the tar road, her legs had been blown off in the explosion, the extent of her injuries was unclear to them as a piece of metal from the exploded car had landed on her, pinning what was left of her lower abdomen.
They stood there in silence, until Alex looked up at them, her eyes betraying her pain as she begged them, "Please, please, don't let me die."
Carlos exchanged a knowing look with Kim and Ty, it was not going to be any small task to even get her to the bus alive. Steeling himself mentally, Carlos got to work, "Okay, you heard her. Ty, go to the back of the bus, we need our bags, a C-collar, and as much saline as you can carry." He pulled off his jacket, then his jumper, which he cut apart without hesitation, as he told Kim his plan, "We need to get a tourniquet around her waist, or she's going to bleed out. Help me get this under her." After that, he called out to Walsh, who was going past, "Walsh, Taylor's hurt. Help us get her out from under this."
Walsh stopped mid-stride, and turned to see Alex lying there, dying. "Oh god," He murmured, before finding himself throwing up on the road, it was a truly horrifying sight. Despite the tourniquet Alex was losing a lot of blood, she was now lying in a large pool of her own blood, her outstretched arms now had multiple IVs, which the paramedics were pushing saline into her body through, to compensate for the blood loss, Ty was now bagging her as she was no longer breathing for herself.
"You okay, Walsh?"
"Yeah," Walsh replied before getting straight to work to save his colleague's life. "We're gonna need the air bags. DK! Give me a hand over here!" Walsh called out to one of the other fire fighters as he went past.
Alex was in bad shape, but she stayed conscious as Carlos and Kim worked on her, Ty stayed at her head, stroking her bloodied hair, comforting her, promising her she would be alright, as he kept squeezing the ambu bag, which was supplying Alex with life-saving oxygen. Though looking at her torn apart body, he very much doubted she would pull through, they all did.
It took Walsh and DK just minutes, using airbags, to lift the piece of metal shrapnel off of Taylor's body. As Kim and Carlos pulled Alex out from under the lifted metal, they were horrified to see what was left of Alex's lower body, her legs, everything from the approximate middle of her pelvis down was gone, and her pelvis had been shattered.
No sooner was Alex freed, than she began to haemorrhage, the tourniquet was no longer enough. The first responders could actually see the blood pumping from Alex's aorta, which had been completely severed.
Thinking fast, Kim, though the memory of that moment, of feeling her best friend bleeding out, would haunt her for years to come, she pinched down on the exposed end of the aorta, trying to stem the blood flow, as soon as she had gained control of the bleeding, Kim ordered Carlos, "Damn it, she's bleeding out. Get me a clamp."
"She's in V-fib!" Carlos alerted Kim, seeing Alex's heart rhythm change on the monitor, he placed the clamp before starting chest compressions. "She's in arrest! I'm starting CPR."
"We need to defibrillate," Kim said as she grabbed the paddles, "Charging to two hundred."
Meanwhile on the other side of the flaming wreckage, Monte "Doc" Parker, Alex's partner that shift, was calling out for her, assumingly calling for his partner to assist in treating a victim, unaware that his partner was now amongst the victims.
After several anxious minutes they managed to get Alex back, Kim intubated her, before they loaded her into an ambulance, and rushed her to Angel of Mercy Hospital, the nearest facility. Carlos and Kim worked on her in the back of the bus, while Davis drove.
The emergency room at Mercy was in chaos, trying to handle the number of trauma patients from the crash, that was only worsened by the explosion, they weren't equipped for more than household injuries, they saw maybe two trauma patients a week, on a busy week.
So much so that when Alex was brought in, Carlos and Kim knew none of the staff who worked on Alex. The main physician was surgeon, Elizabeth Doyle, she had only graduated two years earlier, but you wouldn't know that, she had skills, and a passion for her work, she truly believed in what she did, and in the end, that would be one of the main things that saved Alex Taylor's life.
"What've we got?" She called out to the paramedics as they wheeled the gurney into the trauma room.
Kim stood back with the surgeon, and told her, "Her name's Alex Taylor, twenty-nine year old fire... sorry, paramedic, she was sitting on a car when it exploded, it's bad," She paused, struggling with her emotions, "She was conscious on scene, but... um, she deteriorated rapidly. We clamped her aorta, she was bleeding out, it's... She's had eight litres of saline, ten milligrams of morphine, intubated, CPR performed on scene." As Kim spoke, Carlos, along with several nurses and Dr King, another young doctor, who unlike his colleague lacked talent and gained an unhealthy ego, transferred Alex onto the trauma gurney.
"Okay," Dr Doyle said in acknowledgement, as she moved to the gurney. The murmurs of shock and horror echoed through the trauma room as the medical staff laid eyes on Alex's body, it was a sight they had hoped never to see.
As Carlos and Kim stepped back to let the staff work, Dr King muttered something to one of the nurses, who then laughed in response.
Without looking up from where she was working, Dr Doyle questioned her colleague, "Is there something you'd like to share?"
There was complete silence from the pair, but after Dr Doyle shot them a look, Dr King admitted, "I said that this chick's a mess. This is a teaching exercise now, she's not going to live."
"Out, both of you, out now. This is not a damn teaching exercise, this is a woman, a paramedic who got hurt saving lives, and as long as she's fighting, we are going to do everything we can." Dr Doyle then added, "Miracles do happen."
Dr King wasn't one for knowing when to quit, "This chick's gonna need a freakin' big miracle, she's gone."
Suddenly Carlos, who had been standing back, launched himself at the doctor.
It took three security guards and two police officers to pull Carlos off of the male doctor.
Dr Doyle ignored the brawl, as she rushed Alex upstairs into surgery.
The operation was long and tedious. Pieces of shrapnel had torn through Alex's abdomen, Dr Doyle had needed to remove over half of her intestines, they managed to clear out what they hoped was all of the debris and leaked waste, but they were still worried about infection. Also they had repaired her aorta and other large arteries, which had been damaged in the explosion, and performed several grafts to reroute the blood flow.
She was stable, for now.
Doc was on the warpath when he brought Lieutenant Johnson into the ER, the lieutenant had been severely burnt, and Doc had been forced to bring him in with only the assistance of Officer John Sullivan, "Sully".
He found Carlos sitting on a gurney, having a nurse clean up his scraped knuckles from his run in with Dr King. "Carlos, have you seen Taylor? I couldn't find her on the scene, did she bring a patient in?"
"Doc, you don't know..." Carlos hadn't honestly thought to inform the senior paramedic, amongst the chaos, he had assumed that someone would have told him.
"What?" There was a tone in Carlos voice, something about his expression that made Doc instantly worried.
"She's in surgery, the explosion. It's bad."
"Bad? How bad?"
"She crashed twice before we even got her here, she was going into DIC, bleeding out. I don't know, the surgeon said they'd give us an update when she can," Carlos was emotionally exhausted, in a rare show of emotion he confided in Doc, "When I saw her, lying there on the ground, I thought she was going to die, I really thought we were going to watch her die. It was bad Doc, it was really bad."
As Kim, Carlos, and Ty stood against the glass wall, watching the doctor work on their friend, Kim broke down into tears, since Bobby's death, Alex had been her closest friend, and they had come way too close to watching her die.
Ty pulled her into his arms, and held her as she cried, he was not far from tears himself, nor was Carlos.
It was the worst day of their lives.
The 55 squad along with paramedics Kim, Doc, and Carlos, and NYPD officer Ty Davis sat in the waiting room for hours, praying for their friends, praying that there wouldn't be another tragic death in their squad. Lieutenant Johnson was waiting to be transferred to a burn centre, Alex was still in surgery.
The lieutenant's wife, Ruth and his three teenage children were there too, as was Alex's mom, Beth. Alex's brother, Adam was in Florida with his partner, Mark, and they were trying to get a flight back.
Everyone was in shock, their colleagues, their friends were critically injured, and they were fighting for their lives.
The medivac helicopter arrived for Lieutenant Johnson five hours after he had been injured, the emergency room doctors handed him off to the flight physician, Ruth went with him, after arranging for their kids to be driven across town to New York Presbyterian Hospital to reunite with her.
He died during the flight.
After the surgery Alex was taken to the intensive care, Dr Doyle scrubbed out and changed into clean scrubs before she went out to speak to Beth Taylor, and son Adam, who had arrived just minutes earlier.
"Mrs Taylor?" Dr Doyle approached Beth, who along with her son had stood up when the doctor entered the room.
"How's Alex? Is she alive?" Beth was shaking like a leaf, Adam had to support her to keep her standing, and Adam had to be kept standing by Mark. They'd already lost a husband and father, they couldn't lose Alex too.
"Let's sit down," Dr Doyle suggested, motioning to three nearby available seats. Adam guided his mother into a chair before sitting down himself, opposite the doctor. Dr Doyle then informed them, "Alex has made it through surgery, and she's been taken to the intensive care unit. You need to understand that your daughter is in an extremely critical condition, and while she is stable at the moment, she's got a long road ahead of her."
"Please, how bad is it?" Adam asked the doctor pleadingly.
The young surgeon hesitated before she told them, "She's lost both her legs and we've had to remove her pelvis, which had been severely fractured. She required multiple blood transfusions to replace the blood that she lost. There were a number of blast and shrapnel injuries to her large and small intestines, we've had to remove several sections, but there should be enough left for her to live, we were also forced to remove what was left of her uterus and ovaries, which were injured beyond repair. And we have needed to create artificial openings, stomas through her abdomen for... elimination, she will need a colostomy bag as well as a urostomy bag."
"A what?" Beth was horrified, as soon as she heard it, she was already dreading telling her daughter.
"With time most people adjust. All things considered she's doing very well, she's a fighter."
"That she is," Beth agreed, nodding shakily, "What happens now?"
"We're arranging for her to be transferred to another hospital, we've stabilized her, but she will need more surgeries, probably months of rehabilitation. I am going to make some calls now, arrange everything." Dr Doyle paused, offering the mother and son a reassuring smile, before asking them, "Would you like to come see her?"
"Okay." Beth turned to her son, she held out her hand as she asked, "Come with me?"
Beth and Adam went with the doctor, Mark as well, leaving the rest of the group to wait, officially they weren't family, and only family were allowed to visit patients in the ICU.
To Be Continued...