It was a regular and busy day in the city of Los Angeles.
In my building, everyone is rushing everywhere, and they are all moving fast. Every day, I hear pagers go off almost every minute.
All you can hear is the beeping monitors and the sound of ambulances racing through the busy streets to get those who seek medical attention into the hospital.
The Los Angeles Hospital. It has one of the lowest death rates in all of California and is known to have the best doctors too.
I’ve worked here for years, my name is Doctor Adam Ramirez.
The people of this city all rely on us to help them and save their lives. Once they have entered this building, full of brightly lit rooms and hallways, it is up to us to do everything and anything we can to help them.
My pager went off and I heard the scurrying of feet just on the other side of the door as the doctors rushed outside to meet with the incoming ambulance. The sirens got louder as it got closer and it got here faster than I have ever heard an ambulance come in before.
When the ambulance arrived, the EMT’s and paramedics explained that someone called and said they had found this man in his car, unconscious. He had driven into a ditch and suffered severe injuries. They then put the wounded man on a gurney and immediately took him into surgery. After several hours in the operating room, he finally got out of surgery. The only thing was, he didn’t wake up like he was expected to. Nobody knew his identity either, the injuries to his face made him unrecognizable. There was no kind of I.D. found on him at the time and the car was totaled. So they called him a John Doe. This John Doe could not breathe on his own so a ventilator was plugged in and he got hooked onto it.
After a while, I hear what sounds like the entire building shutting down and it sounds like there was a rush hour going on just outside on the street. All the cars were starting to honk frantically. I hear their tires screech and I can hear people out on the street yelling at one another. The power had gone out. There was complete darkness in the city except for the faint glow of the moonlight, which was barely shining because of the clouds that were covering it. It was almost pitch black in the hospital. I could barely make the outline of someone walking by. It was silent for a moment until Dr. Anderson spoke out. “Alright everybody, stay calm and stay in your rooms, I am sure the power will come back on shortly. In the meantime, doctors and all staff, there is a large bin of flashlights here. Grab one and get to the patients who were hooked onto anything that was keeping them alive and hurry, but be aware of your surroundings.”
The patients who are hooked onto the ventilators..
It’s the only thing keeping them alive. Without the power, the ventilators will not work. There are only a few patients on a ventilator in this hospital, but without it, they will die. By the disappointed sighs I heard while passing rooms that had patients hooked onto a ventilator in them, I could tell some already had. I went into the John Doe’s room, but there were already doctors helping him in there.
I realized every patient was being taken care of so I raced outside to make sure no accidents had happened amid the power outage. The honking still continued, and it was almost pitch black. The only lights I saw were coming from the cars and the street lights were off due to the power outage. Among the car lights, I can faintly see something has happened a distance away. I can’t tell where and what it is coming from. I can only tell it seems to be about a block or two down, so I run over there. As I approach, I notice there had been a crash. As I walk towards the first two cars that had been hit, I noticed the car in front of those two was also hit. The one in front of that one too. There had been a pile up. It did not seem to be severe though and there were about 9 cars. I ran to the first car in the front and went down the row of cars quickly checking up on everyone. Everyone seemed to be fine and no one was severely injured. “Is everyone alright? Does anyone need some kind of medical attention? There is a hospital two blocks down, I can take you there and they will help you,” I yell out. No response. Then people slowly started to get out of their vehicles and there was a lot of chatter and the honking still continued. Everyone had exited the buildings they were in and are now standing outside. No one knew what to do. I look around and make sure that everyone is okay one last time and then run back to the hospital. I can barely see anything out here.
It has probably been at least an hour now since the power went out. I enter the hospital where it is even darker than it is outside. I speed walk toward the John Doe’s room to see if he is still alive. I enter his room and there is no one in there, not even him. I sit down on the chair next to what used to be his bed, close my eyes and let out a deep sigh. Just then, I hear the power slowly come on. I open my eyes, but the room has changed. I could feel that I was laying on a cold metal table and then I saw Dr. Anderson and Dr. Leonard walk in. “Due to the power outage, we lost 7 patients who were on ventilators," Dr. Anderson stated. He then read the names off the list of fatalities, “Stacy Lopez, Matthew Sanchez, Mary Henderson, Michael Miller, Daniel Jones, Elizabeth Johnson, and because of an ID found in a wallet near the crash site a few months ago, one of our own, Adam Ramirez.” I had stood up when he said my name and I looked at him in confusion. “Doctor, I’m right here,” I say. Then I remember I did have my wallet that day, but I got distracted while driving and the last thing I heard was honking. I quickly turn around and I see myself, I was just laying there, lifeless, on the table.
I was John Doe.