At the hospital, Abigail is greeted by Genevieve, who gives her a long hug.
“Mom’s on her way,” Genevieve tells Abigail, who nods.
Neil goes with her to the nurses’ station and Abigail identifies herself. A few minutes later, a doctor appears.
“Ms. Worthy, I’m Dr. Gant. Your mother is in very serious condition, but we’ve managed to stabilize her. Fortunately, we have a specialist on the way who’s the best at handling this type of trauma and he should be arriving shortly.”
“That’s good. Can I see her?”
“She’s in radiology now, but I can let you see her once they bring her back up. Are you her designated proxy?”
“Yes, I’m authorized to act on her behalf.”
“I have to ask — does she have a living will and durable power of attorney?”
“She does, but please tell me it’s not going to come to that.”
“We’re doing everything we can for her.”
He leaves her.
Abigail returns to the waiting area where she sits with Neil and Genevieve. They’re soon joined by Jillian.
“I talked to my mother and she says Dad’s on his way. Fortunately, he was consulting with a hospital nearby so it shouldn’t take him long to get here.”
“That’s good news,” Abigail says. “My aunt Rosalind is on the way, too, but it’s going to take her a while to drive down.”
“Mom didn’t want to get in the way. She says Dad can probably handle any bureaucracy, but to call if she needs to help smooth anything out.”
“I’m surprised she was able to talk him into it,” Neil says. “Since he’s been in LA he hasn’t been as responsive to her requests.”
“She still has a lot of influence,” Jillian says. “I’m sure she stressed the seriousness of the situation.”
Jillian takes Neil’s seat beside Abigail and he sits across from them. A short while later, the doctor returns and Abigail is given several minutes to see Rhiannon. Neil accompanies her for moral support. Rhiannon is unconscious — in a medically induced coma, the doctor explains — and hooked up to numerous monitors. Abigail takes Rhiannon’s hand and kisses it then presses her cheek against it.
“Hang on, Mom,” she says. “We still have so much we need to do together.”
After several minutes, she returns to the waiting area. As she’s heading back to her seat, Daniel enters and heads toward the nurses’ station. Abigail intercepts him.
“I have never asked you for anything in my life,” she says, controlling her emotions as best she can, “but I’m asking you now to do everything you can to save her.”
“I’ll do my best,” Daniel says in a detached manner. He glances at Jillian who has been staring at him since he entered, then touches Abigail’s shoulder, leans in and says with more warmth, “I promise you.”
The doctor returns and is relieved when he sees Daniel.
“Dr. Hawkins, good, you’re here.”
“I need to see everything you’ve got on the patient.”
“Of course. The residents are standing by to give you a full rundown.”
“How’s she holding up?”
“She’s stabilized for now, but the sooner we can get her into surgery the better.”
“Who’s scrubbing in?”
“Barrow’s on the roster.”
“What about Deborah Christiansen?” he says. “She has more experience with this type of trauma.”
“She’s no longer on staff here,” he says.
“Is she local?”
“Yes sir. She’s chief resident at County.”
“Marty Engels is chief of surgery there. He owes me one.”
As they start toward the hallway, Daniel takes out his phone and dials.
“Marty, Dan Hawkins. I need to borrow one of your residents for a few hours.”
They disappear down the hall.
Abigail collapses into her chair between Jillian and Genevieve and finally lets her emotions overtake her. Genevieve puts her arm around Abigail.
“Don’t worry,” Jillian says, taking Abigail’s hand. “You’ve given her the best chance she’s going to have.”
“I just hope it’s enough.”