Stephen W. Leslie
I was startled awake at 3:40 am by a loudspeaker blaring “Code Blue…Code Blue.”
As the hospital’s newly hired chaplain intern, I’d been sleeping in the overnight room. Stumbling out of bed and groggily changing out of my pajamas, I made sure to put on my hospital badge.
I made my way to the hospital’s “Z” building, where the ICU was located, and took the elevator to the fourth floor. The elevator opened onto a row of doorways, each decorated with a red warning sign: “Stop! Do Not Enter. Authorized Staff Only.”
I picked one and went through.
I’d guessed right: At the far end of a hallway, a group of gowned nurses swarmed around a woman lying in a hospital bed, her hospital robe trailing off to one side as they worked on her.
I approached the group, feeling a bit intimidated and uncertain of my role.
“Sixteen minutes ago, her heart stopped,” someone told me. Moving closer to the patient, I saw that she was a short, slightly plump woman about sixty-five years old. With a shock of disbelief, I realized that she was one of the patients I’d talked to earlier that evening. I …