Daniel, Dan, Danny. "He likes 'Danny,'" his nurse said, stroking Danny's brown hair.
Two weeks ago, Danny was in a sledding accident. Now he is a quadriplegic. He is 16 years old.
Before the accident, Danny played as a center on his high school football team. His team finished in the Top 8 in the state. "Do you have a girlfriend?" my instructor Diane asked. Danny shook his head, no. A typical 16-year-old boy.
Today, during clinical, I was taking care of his tracheotomy--a tube that goes into the trachea, allowing Danny to breathe but preventing him from being able to speak. He could only shake his head yes, no and mouth silent words.
Two weeks ago, Danny was a normal teenager. Today I had to stick a suctioning tube down into his lungs to suck out excessive secretions, helping clear his airway. As you can imagine, having a tube jammed down your windpipe is not a pleasant experience. Danny had tears in his eyes from the force of coughing. "It's almost over, Danny," I consoled him, "You're doing awesome."
Later that day, one of the other nursing students in my clinical group "cath-ed" Danny, meaning she inserted a tube into his bladder that will allow him to urinate.
He can't move his limbs, can't communicate, and he has to pee in a bag. And he's just a 16-year-old boy.
I wish Danny the very best. And I truly appreciate him allowing students to practice and learn vital nursing skills on him--turning his tragedy into at least something very small.
Two more for the pile
2 years ago