February 1, 2009
“I don’t know why you can still walk,” the surgeon says calmly. “If you tripped over a tree root, you could be paralyzed for life.” As the couple slowly absorbs the implications of these seemingly casual remarks, the surgeon goes on to say that the husband must be admitted to the hospital at once on complete bed rest until surgery can take place. That statement sets a flurry of events in motion: phone calls, paperwork, whispered conversations, a drive across town following an ambulance instead of driving it. Within an hour, he’s lying in a hospital bed awaiting his fate.