Brain Death

Today I learned about brain death.
Today I got to see a brain dead patient.

Today I saw a mother grieve.

He chose to believe his life was not worth living.
The pain must have been so incredibly unbearable
For him to choose this path.

Both wrists had new bandages.
As if he was transcribing his pain for the world to see.

Found hanging.
His neck – red – from the makeshift noose.

He lay in this bed
A body & mind deprived of oxygen –
There was nothing left.
just an empty vessel…

His pupils: blown.
GCS: 3
Core Temp: 90F

Bleeding through his nose.
Through his mouth.
No reflexes left.

His vitals slowly deteriorating before our eyes.
Before her eyes.
As she sat there holding his hand.

We fought.
Titrating, bolusing –
but after it all
we couldn’t get his pressures up.

He was ready to take that last step into the abyss.
No matter the medical manipulation…

His body was dying
But his brain was dead

The schism between life & death becoming clear —
as if Hades himself was in that room.

so

Today I got to see what a brain dead patient looks like.

Today I felt sadness
For the mother who will – for the rest of her life
Remember the loss of her child
     On Mother’s Day

 

Priya Kumar
5/8/2016