Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Episode 19 - Heart to Heart

I don’t have much experience of hospitals. Apart from Maternity Units and the odd visit to Casualty with the girls when they were little I’ve never really had much to do with them. Is this usual then to be left alone in a corridor waiting for news? It’s been two hours since they took Martin into the room in the High Dependency Unit, what are they doing, why won’t they let me go in to him, why isn’t anyone telling me anything?

‘Are you OK Mum?’ Ella asks as she sits down on the hard plastic chair next to me outside Martin’s room ‘here, drink this, I found a coffee machine’

‘Thank you for coming with me to the hospital darling. I do appreciate it’

‘I’m just glad that I can be here for you. Have you had any news?’

‘Oh Ella I don’t know any more than you do. I’ve been left here waiting since we arrived. I wish to god someone would tell me what’s happening’

‘Try and keep calm Mum, the best thing we can do is to just let them get on with their job. I’m sure that they will tell us as soon as they can’

What a way to end a party. I hadn’t even realised that Martin had gone outside until Cassy Stratton had come running in to tell me that they had found him unconscious in the car park.
It was lucky that Cassy and Liam had been leaving the party early to give Clara Hale a lift home.

Funny the things you find out at a time like this. I don’t think that any of us knew Mrs Hale’s first name before tonight and I certainly didn’t realise that she would be so good in a crisis. Apparently as soon as they spotted Martin collapsed in the car park she just took charge of the situation, sending Liam off to telephone for an ambulance and administering CPR on Martin while Cassy ran in to get me.

I’m not sure what happened after the ambulance arrived. Everything is a bit of a blur. I can remember the paramedics turning up and taking over. I can even remember travelling to the hospital in the ambulance but everything else is a nightmare of men in white coats running down the corridor, machines being pushed at high speed into the examination room and Martin lying there looking for all the world as if he was just asleep.

I promised that as soon as I know anything I would phone Sophie. She has been so good. Apparently she managed to calm everyone at the party and stop them from getting in the way. Ella said that she quickly arranged taxis for everyone that needed them and promised to stay by the phone back at the villa for updates. She also found Ella a lift with Malcolm’s wife Gloria who followed the ambulance all the way to the hospital.

I was useless, I could only stand there stunned, incapable of even rational thought never mind organising anything. It was the shock probably; the shock of seeing Martin lying there and praying that he wouldn’t die.

‘Mrs Brooks would you like to come through now.’ The nurse holds the door open for me as I walk slowly into Martin’s room. I’m trying my very hardest to keep it together but it’s such a shock to see him lying there naked to the waist and attached to all those drips and monitors. Opening his eyes, he smiles as he sees me standing there quietly by his side.


‘Oh Martin, I was so worried’ unchecked the tears start to roll down my cheeks. Very gently I take his hand in mine and carefully bend down to kiss his cool brow.

‘Mrs Brooks, we were just explaining to Martin that he has suffered a heart attack ‘I hold my breath as the doctor continues ‘He was very lucky that your friend was on the scene so quickly otherwise it could have been much worse for him. With rest and medication he should make a full recovery but you must take this as a warning. As I explained to Martin he must change a lot of things in his life, more exercise, a good diet and less stress’

‘Don’t worry Doctor I’ll make sure he does.’

‘I’ll be back to see you in the morning Martin. Nurse, can we have 15 minute obs through the night please?’ Turning at the door the doctor continued ‘You must try to get some rest now, maybe your wife would like to go home for a while and get some rest too’

‘Please doctor, can I stay with him for a little while? I promise I’ll leave soon’

‘Ok, just for a little while. I will see you both in the morning’
As the doctor and nurse leave the room I can see them talking to Ella who is still waiting outside the door.

‘It’s true what the doctor said Martin, we must take this as a warning. But let’s not worry about anything tonight; we’ll have plenty of time talk tomorrow’

‘There is something I must tell you now Fliss, it’s about the company’

‘What ever it is can wait. Let’s just concentrate on getting you better’

‘No Fliss, this can’t wait. I'm so sorry, I’ve been very stupid and have run up debts on the business.' looking at my horrified expression Martin hurriedly continues 'I managed to arrange a short term loan to cover the shortfall but I wasn’t able to repay it on time. I’m worried now that we may loose the villa’

‘You put the villa up as security? But how, surely you needed my signature for that? I can’t believe the bank would be that sloppy’

'I didn’t borrow from the bank ‘

‘Where did you borrow from?'

‘Tony Eagleton’

I feel my legs buckle and sinking into the chair next to his bed I am still in a state of shock as I look at Martin lying there covering his face with his hands. What have you done you silly fool. After everything that you’ve told me about that gangster, how could you even consider asking him for a loan? I can’t say any of this of course. The last thing Martin needs is to be told what an idiot he’s been.

‘Let’s not worry about it now. We’ll talk about again in the morning’

‘I’m so sorry Fliss, for everything’

‘Shush now, remember what the doctor said, you need to rest. Everything will be fine, I promise’ and raising from the chair I bend over to kiss him goodbye hoping that he doesn’t realise quite how scared I really am.