Angelica and John were watching Angie, Al, and James at the Hamilton house, because Alex and Eliza were both at the hospital with Philip. The doctors were fighting hard to get the infection under control but unfortunately they were either dealing with a rare form of bacteria or a very tough one. While antibiotics were slowing down the sepsis, they weren’t reversing it. Philip had so many medications that they had to start another IV, not at all connected to the first one. One of the meds he was on, was the sedatives again, as he’d be absolutely miserable without them. Everyone had to wear one-time-use-only gowns, and masks and while in the room with him, had to wash their ‘hands’ up to their elbows before they could go in, and he was only allowed two visitors at a time.
Alex and Eliza were sitting next to each other at Philip’s bedside, Eliza resting against Alex, who was beginning to nod off, when the doctor came in.
“Mr and Mrs Hamilton?” He asked gently.
Alex jerked back into full awakeness and Eliza sat up.
“Hi. I’ve got some very good news. We’ve finally found what exact bacteria is causing the infection and while we don’t have the exact antibiotics, they’re being brought over from another hospital.”
“Thank goodness.” Eliza said.
“Why did it take so long to pinpoint?” Alex asked.
“It’s a rare form of bacteria, it probably entered Philip’s system by the gunman having an infection and loading his gun with sweaty hands, but we’ll probably never know for sure. We were looking for the big popular guys at first and working down a list organized from most to least popular.”
“Makes sense I guess.” Alex said. “Now that he’s getting the antibiotics that will reverse the sepsis right?”
“Yes. As long as it’s not built up a strong immunity to antibiotics it should. Now it won’t be an immediate change, it will still take a while for the sepsis to start going away.”
“So things are looking up?” Eliza asked.
“I’ll put it like this, before we had our chins to our chests looking at the floor. Now our heads are pointed straight forward but we’re looking up with our eyes.”
“I guess that’s an improvement.”
“A huge one. Someone from the lab will be coming in right away to do another blood draw, and I’ll be back in with his nurse Theodosia when she arrives as she’s actually the one who went to the other hospital to get the antibiotics he needs.” The doctor smiled and left.
“He’s gonna be okay.” Alex breathed out and smiled.
“I sure hope so.” Eliza said.
The doctor and Theodosia came in not too much later, before the lab guy came, Theodosia saw Philip and almost immediately frowned, she looked at Alex and Eliza, who were wearing yellow gowns over their street clothes, like her and the doctor were.
“Can you guys move from in front of the window for a moment?” Theodosia asked.
They looked confused, but did so.
Theodosia’s frown only deepened. “Does he look a little jaundice to anyone else?”
“Now that you mention it,” The doctor moved closer and took a long look at various areas of exposed skin. “He does. It’s subtle, I thought it was the combo of the gowns and the natural light too, but it’s definitely mild jaundice.”
“What does that mean?” Eliza asked.
“Do you see how his skin has a bit of a yellow hue to it?
Alex and Eliza nodded.
“It could be a sign that his liver is failing, which unfortunately, is very possible between the damage to it, the resulting surgery, and the sepsis. But, let’s wait for the lab work to get back first, then we’ll worry about that.” The doctor said. “For now, let’s just get him on the new antibiotics, and hope the jaundice is being caused by something else.”
Theodosia began setting up the new antibiotics and taking him off the old ones.
“As great as that sounds, how high are the chances that it is liver failure? We wanna be prepared for the worst.” Alex said.
“Unfortunately, they aren’t great for it being something other than liver failure.”
Alex nodded a bit.
The lab guy came, and the labs came back. Philip’s liver function was not normal. They took him for new scans and found the damage was bad.
When Alex and Eliza heard this news Eliza began crying and held onto Alex. Alex held her and would be a liar if he said he didn’t shed tears too.
When Alex looked up Angelica and Peggy were outside the room. They had come to take over for Alex and Eliza now that night time was approaching and the two had been at the hospital for a long time.
Alex left the room and went into the hallway. “They found the bacteria and got the right antibiotics but his liver is failing. The doctors are trying meds to try and reverse the effects, every time we take a step forward it’s like we take three steps back.
“What can we do?” Angelica asked.
Alex was about to answer when Eliza, who was still in the room began calling for help. Alex turned and while he couldn’t see anything visibly wrong, Eliza looked very concerned. Alex ran to the nurses desk and told them something was wrong. Theodosia, and another nurse quickly came over and gowned, masked, and gloved up; due to lack of time for hand washing, and once they were in the room, the problem became obvious. The area of skin surrounding Philip’s first IV had ballooned up with blood and it was leaking from where the needle was inserted, but the leak wasn’t fast enough and his skin was continuing to slowly balloon.
The other nurse rushed out to get the doctor. Theodosia quickly put stoppers on all the meds for that IV and grabbed some gauze and a small clean kidney-shaped bowl. She put his hand in the bowl and carefully started removing the tape for that IV, the blood that had leaked ran down his skin, now that it finally was able to escape. She then held some gauze just above his skin where the IV was and pulled the needle out, blood quickly started squirting out of the small hole.
The doctor and other nurse then arrived. “Something happened with the IV, his vein blew, it was leaking into the skin.” Theodosia explained.
“Who noticed it?” The doctor asked.
“I did.” Eliza asked.
“Did you touch or move his hand before it at all?” He asked.
The other nurse began looking at all the meds that had been going through that IV. “I figured out why. You can’t mix one of these meds together with the others outside of the body and then pump it into the body, says it right on the bag. It messed up the acidity level and just, made the vein walls too weak, and considering that he was on meds to constrict the veins because of the sepsis, it’s no wonder it happened. Who set up this latest antibiotic?” The nurse asked, holding up the bag for the antibiotics Theodosia had started him on earlier that morning.
Theodosia visibly deflated. “I did. The doctor told me to start them on the left IV pole, I did exactly as told.” Theodosia said, her guilt clear in her voice as she continued holding gauze to the spot Philip was bleeding from.
“It was your left went you did it correct?” The doctor asked.
“One of the nurses last night moved around the IV poles when putting up new saline bags.” Alex mumbled.
“I should’ve checked and made sure that it was the correct pole.” Theodosia said.
“I shouldn’t have just said the left pole, I should’ve been clearer.”
“Can we just, fix this and get past it please?” Alex asked.
The doctor and Theodosia both nodded. “Someone get new IV set-up supplies, some more gauze, and a unit O or B negative, I wanna give him a transfusion because he’s lost blood and his blood is being pumped full of so many meds, some uncontaminated blood will do his system good.” The doctor said.
Angelica ended up convincing them to let her donate more blood for Philip despite her donating some just a few days before. They gave it to him and Alex and Eliza eventually headed home, Angelica and Peggy spending the night with Philip, and Philip was the only one who slept through the night. Most of them stayed awake hoping and praying that this would be the last complication, but knowing it was highly unlikely.