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A Second Chance At Life

A Second Chance At Life

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A Second Chance At Life

186 Seiten
3 Stunden
Jan 31, 2019


A Second Chance at Life is the first book in my Hidden Valley series. It has been revised and reprinted. It is a story about love between two people who live their lives with God as their guide. It tells how they overcome, with God's help, all the things that happens in their travel through life together. It is a guide to how we can live our lives no matter what happens with God's grace and love.
Jan 31, 2019

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A Second Chance At Life - Penny Heggie Austin


Chapter 1

Major Hank Norton, a Marine, Neuro-surgeon, widower, and lost soul was on a road somewhere in Virginia, heading to wherever the road took him.

What in the world is the truck in front of me doing? Oh my God, he is going to hit the car! All at once both vehicles collided and spun into the mountain.

Thank God they didn’t go the other way, over the side of the mountain.

Hank dialed 911 as he grabbed his medical bag, jumped from his SUV and ran toward the accident, to help the people in the vehicles. The young man who caused the accident emerged from his truck. He seemed to be stunned by the impact. He was in his late teens or early twenties.

I’m so sorry, I must have fallen asleep. I was up all night, studying for my finals. I got a call saying my Mom was taken to the hospital. I left right after my exam and headed home. Is anyone hurt?

I don’t know yet. I’m going to the other car now. Hank got to the car and saw a young woman whose head lay against the steering wheel and blood ran down the side of her face. He wondered why the airbags didn’t deploy. When he opened the door, he noticed she looked to be about eight-months pregnant. She must have had the air-bags deactivated. When he looked in her eyes, they were dilated and he noticed a cerebral hemorrhage behind them. His heart skipped a beat when he thought of another woman and baby he would never see.

He heard the sirens and thanked God the ambulance was almost there. The ambulance pulled up. The EMT ran to him. I’m a doctor, Hank told him. Someone needs to check the other driver. We need to get this woman to the hospital as quick as we can. She is having a cerebral hemorrhage and is about eight-months pregnant.

We are about 15 miles from the hospital, the EMT told Hank Let’s get her loaded and get going, by the way I’m Josh Cameron.

Glad to meet you Josh. I’m Dr. Hank Norton.

As they were loading her, she opened her eyes, looked at Hank, said Hi and passed out again. Hank thought what beautiful, violet eyes she had.

Josh, we need to contact the hospital and tell them to have a surgical room ready and a neurosurgeon on hand for immediate surgery. I’ll follow in my car so I can fill them in on what I found.

Hank, I’m not sure they will have a neurosurgeon on staff. It is a small hospital.

Then I’ll perform the surgery. I’m a neurosurgeon. Just tell them to have everything ready on our arrival There is no time to waste, if we are going to save her and the baby. Josh, did anyone get her purse and ID? We will need to notify her family immediately.

The Chief is gathering everything and will meet us there. Let’s get rolling.

Hank’s insides shook as he ran to his car. He thought about his wife and baby boy and prayed her family wouldn’t go through the pain of losing them.

He couldn’t get the woman and her beautiful eyes out of his mind. The baby seemed to be fine, but you never know about these things. They would need an obstetrician on hand during the surgery, to monitor the baby.

Hank parked his car and ran in the Emergency entrance as they were unloading the patient.

The Chief came running in behind him. He looked at Hank and said, I’m Jordan Price and this is my sister Anna Michaels. She was on her way to stay with me and my family. What can you tell me?

I’m Dr. Hank Norton. I’m a neurosurgeon from the Naval Hospital in San Diego. Your sister is having a cerebral hemorrhage, and it has to be stopped immediately or it can be fatal or worse.

The administrator came from the hall. I need to see your ID and certification.

Here is my military ID. I will fill out any information you need later, but we have no time to waste right now. I need another surgeon and a surgical nurse, also an obstetrician to monitor the baby. We need to get her into surgery now.

The Administrator glanced at his ID, turned to the desk, and said, you heard the Doctor, get Dr. Smith and Nurse Hayden here now and the obstetrician on staff to surgery STAT. Nurse Harris, make sure Dr. Norton has everything he needs.

The surgery lasted two hours. The patient and the baby did fine. They would have to wait for her to regain consciousness to know anything. Hank went out to talk to her brother.

Jordan, the surgery went well, but we won’t know anything for sure, about any possible damage to her brain, until she wakes up. I’m going to stay here at the hospital until then. Go home and get some rest. The hospital will let you know if there is any change. The baby is doing fine. May I ask where her husband is?

Her husband died in Afghanistan before she could tell him about the baby. It is why she was coming to stay with us.

I’m sorry to hear It. We lost a lot of good men over there.

Just then, the administrator came down the hall. He held out his hand to Hank.

Major Norton it is a real pleasure to have you operate at our hospital. I have read several of your articles on Neurosurgery and new techniques. I realized who you were when I looked at your ID, I’m Frank Williams.

Good to meet you Frank, but please call me Hank. Frank, I need to stay here at the hospital for a few days to monitor Ms. Michaels.

It is fine Hank. One of the Nurses will show you to the Doctor’s lounge and get you whatever you need.

Hank turned to Jordan and sent him home to rest. As Jordan left, Hank went in Anna’s room, and sat down by her hospital bed.

Taking her hand, his thoughts ran to another pregnant woman lying in a hospital bed, dying from a cancer, she refused to be treated for because of her pregnancy. Only to lose them both before he could get home from Afghanistan. His baby boy was still born an hour before his wife died from the cancer. His body shook from the pain of his loss. It had been three years since he got the call saying he was being flown home from the field hospital in Afghanistan, because his wife was dying.

His wife never told him about the cancer. It still felt like yesterday.

Where was the God he always felt so close to? Why did he feel like God abandoned him?

Hank took Anna’s hand and prayed for her. Maybe he wasn’t as far from God as he thought. He hoped not anyway.

Hank awoke to the sun coming in through the curtains. He slept sitting in the chair, holding Anna’s hand. He got up and walked to the window and wondered why he felt so close to this woman. Was it because she was going to have a baby without a husband to see her through? She was a beautiful woman, with raven black hair and violet eyes. He turned around to check on her. The door opened and a Nurse came in.

Dr. Horton, I’m Nurse Hayden. I assisted you in surgery yesterday and have been assigned to Ms. Michaels case while she is with us. I hope it meets with your approval.

It’s nice to see you again and I am glad to have you on board. You did a great job yesterday. I know how hard it is to work with a strange surgeon. I was just about to check her vitals. I’ll let you handle it while I go down and have breakfast. Page me if there is any change.

Just as Hank exited the elevator, he ran into Jordan.

Hi Jordan, did you get any rest last night? I know how worried you are about your sister and the baby. They are both doing well this morning. The nurse is with your sister right now and I am going down to the cafeteria for some coffee and breakfast. Would you care to join me?

Sure, I would like to talk to you. The police will be by to get a statement from you about the accident. Have you heard how the young man who hit her is doing?

"No, I haven’t checked on him yet. I’ve been preoccupied with you sister. We’ll do so on our way back to see your sister.

I don’t know what I can tell the police, other than what I told you. I’m pretty sure he fell asleep at the wheel. He was pretty shaken and worried about your sister. Is there something else you wanted to talk to me about?"

Hank, we live in a small town about forty-five miles from here. Our only doctor passed away about a year ago and we haven’t been able to find a doctor interested in coming there. I was wondering if you would like to come look us over. See if you might like to spend some time there. I have a feeling you are looking for something and maybe we can help you find it. If I am out of line please just say so. The name of the town is Hidden Valley.

No, you’re right, I left the Marines six-months ago and have been wondering ever since. I have three more months before I will finally be out. My wife and son died three years ago and I’m still trying to get over my anger with her and God. Your little town sounds like what I need. When your sister is out of danger, I will visit. I guess we need to get upstairs and check on the young man from the accident.

The Nurse at the desk said, his name is Logan Marshall, and he was released this morning. He is doing well, he has some bruising and a broken collar bone.

As they exited the elevator, Hank noticed a police officer talking to the nurse.

What are you doing in Ms. Michaels’ room?

Let me introduce myself, I’m Lt. Davis of the County Sheriff’s office. I came to interview Ms. Michaels and Dr. Norton about the accident.

First of all, you can’t interview Ms. Michaels. She has not regained consciousness since the accident and surgery. Even if she had, not without my permission. She had brain surgery and is still in a dangerous condition. If you wanted to interview me you should have paged me. Now let’s go into the waiting room, shall we.?

I take it you are Dr. Norton.

Yes, after you Lt. Davis. All I can tell you is I saw the pickup going all over the road before it struck the car. When the driver got out, he was very disoriented and upset. My observation is he fell asleep at the wheel.

Would you say he might have been drunk or on drugs?

I doubt it very seriously. His actions were not like a person who was drinking or on drugs.

Would you be qualified to recognize if he were.

Lt., I spent eight years as a doctor and surgeon in three actions in the Middle East. I probably would recognize it faster than you. Now if you have no further questions, I have a patient to check on. If you want to check my credentials, the name is Major Hank Marcus Norton, MD, first Marine Division, San Diego, California.

Hank left Lt. Davis standing there with his mouth open.

Hank returned to talk to Nurse Hayden and Jordan. Nurse Hayden seemed to be upset over the officer.

He didn’t tell me what he wanted until he came in the room. I was just telling him he needed to get in touch with you. I’m sorry he got in here before I knew who he was.

It’s okay, I don’t think he will try it again, but if he does call me immediately.

Has Anna shown any signs of waking up? How are her vitals? I want to know right away if her temperature rises any.

She seemed a little agitated when the Lt. was here, but she settled down when she heard your voice. Her temperature is a little elevated, but not much. Do you need a Nurse for tonight?

No, it’s fine, I will be staying with her at night until she regains consciousness. Just let me know when you are leaving and I will be here.

Jordan stood by the window while they were talking. What do you think is going on? Will she be waking up soon?

It is hard to tell, everyone is different. Some people who have serious trauma to the head may take longer than someone else. We just have to be patient and watch out for infections.

Nurse Hayden left for home and Hank sat in the chair beside Anna’s bed, taking her hand and talking to her in a soft voice. What is it about this woman?

Anna, it’s time to open your eyes and wake up. Everything is okay, please open those beautiful eyes and tell me Hi! again.

There was the voice again, so quiet and loving. Who is this man? Why can’t I open my eyes and look at him.? My head hurts, but not as bad as before. Maybe I can open my eyes and see him.

Anna’s eye lids fluttered and she moved her hand in his.

Hank looked up at the monitor and saw more brain activity than before. She is trying to wake up, thank you Lord Hank prayed. He seemed to be doing it a lot lately.

Anna slowly opened her eyes and looked around. There, beside her bed sat a man who held her hand. She remembered seeing him once before but where?

Hi, she said. It made him smile.

Hi, my name is Dr. Hank Norton, and I’m your doctor. Do you remember what happened?

I remember leaving Chicago to go to Virginia. I was going to stay with my brother and his family until the baby is born. Then I can decide what to do next. My baby, is she alright?

She is fine, just waiting for her mommy to wake up and talk to her. Do you remember the accident? Don’t press yourself if you don’t. You have a serious head injury and will probably have a problem remembering everything. It is normal. When is the baby due?

I remember thinking I was almost to Jordan’s home and then I saw a truck coming toward me. Then everything went black. The baby is due the fifteenth of December. Why is my head bandaged up? Did I hit it hard? Don’t be afraid to tell me what is going on. I’m a surgical nurse and I know there is something.

"You had a cerebral hemorrhage and

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