Kerry Weaver Returns
SUMMARY: Part of series. Kerry helps Julie, the blind girl she met
after something tragic happens.
Kerry Weaver stood at the baggage claim waiting for someone to pick her up from the airport. The roaring of the plane's engines still lingered in her ears. Kerry turned around when she heard her name being called.
"Kerry," Mark called. He rushed over to her and gave her a quick hug. "Glad to have you back."
"It's good to be back, Atlanta can't compete with Chicago for action and excitement," Kerry said as Mark gathered her things. Kerry had been training at the Center for the Blind in Atlanta for seven months and was now able to do most things on her own. She was still learning Braille but was independent as she'd always been. Kerry let Mark lead her toward his car and she got in. "What have I missed?" Kerry put on her seat belt and waited for Mark to get in the car.
"Not much," Mark said as he got in the car and started it up.
"Everyone is dying to see you, especially Jeanie."
"I bet," Kerry said leaning back on the seat and letting the cool breeze from the open window rip through her hair.
"Kerry do you remember what happened on that day?" Mark asked.
"Sort of, I remember seeing the car come toward me, and then I remember waking up and not being able to see."
Kerry sighed, she couldn't be late for work. Her staff and patients depended on her. As Kerry was driving toward the hospital parking lot a fast speeding car came zooming toward her. Kerry tried to scream but it was too late, the car had already hit.
"BP's 90 over 60," Carol said. "What happened?"
"She got hit by another car while driving here," Mark said. He leaned down at the unconscious Kerry. "Kerry can you hear me?"
Kerry didn't respond. Finally after a few seconds she opened her eyes. "Mark?"
"Kerry, it's OK, we're taking care of you," Mark said. "You hit your head on the steering wheel."
"Mark?" Kerry asked sitting up. "I can't see."
"Oh, man," Carter suddenly said.
"Kerry just relax, we're going to do a CT," Mark said easing Kerry back down on the bed. He watched as Kerry was wheeled toward CT."
"That seems like only yesterday," Kerry said. "I can't believe it's been seven months. I was determined to still practice medicine."
"You are one amazing person Kerry Weaver," Mark said as they pulled into the hospital parking lot. "You wanted training right away, as soon as you found out you would never see again." Mark got out of the car and helped Kerry out. "We'll leave your stuff here and I'll take you home later."
"OK," Kerry agreed. Kerry let Mark lead her into the familiar chaos of the ER. She could hear the familiar sounds of gurneys passing by, machines beeping and people yelling. "Well, it's good to be back." Kerry went into the lounge and found her locker with the help of Mark. Within two minutes she had the thing open and was putting her stuff away.
"Kerry you're amazing," Mark said. "How did you do that without seeing the numbers."
"I had Jeanie put little raised dots on the numbers of my combination," Kerry said. Then she heard the door open.
"Kerry," Carol said. "Welcome back."
"Thanks Carol," Kerry said giving the nurse a quick hug. "How are you doing?"
"OK," Carol said. "We've really missed you around here. Now maybe you can straighten Jerry out."
"I'll do that," Kerry said with a smile.
"Come on, I'll take you to the nurses station," Carol said.
Kerry took Carol's arm and let her friend lead her to the nurses station.
"Look whose back," Carol said.
"Well, Dr. Weaver finally returns," Carter said. He gave Kerry a quick hug. "Now maybe things can get back to normal around here."
"Mostly, not quite," Kerry said. "I can't examine patients anymore or help with traumas."
"There is a simple solution," Carter said. "You can't say no until you hear me out. We were thinking that since you can't examine patients anymore, that you could be kind of like a person who comforts the patient's family or the patient."
"That sounds OK, so all I have to do is stay with the patient's family?' Kerry asked making sure she was hearing this right.
'Yeah, or stay with the patient if the patient is hard to control," Carter said. "You'll still be part of the team and part of the action."
"Thanks," Kerry said smiling.
The next day Kerry was at the nurses station. She hadn't learned her way around yet and didn't want to have another accident. Kerry had decided that she'd do paper work using her talking typer which none of the other workers had seen or heard.
"What is that sound?' Carol asked not realizing that it was Kerry's type N Speak.
"This," Kerry said pointing to her machine.
"What is that?' Carol asked.
"It's called a type N Speak. It talks when I type," Kerry said. "I hear the voice and know what I'm typing. I don't even need a screen."
"That is so cool," Carol said.
"Is the sound bothering you, I can put earphones on?' Kerry asked.
"No, I was just wondering what that strange little voice was," Carol said returning to her work.
Kerry nodded and returned to her work. Then she heard the familiar shouts of the paramedics as they brought in a trauma. Kerry looked up and wondered if Mark or someone was going to come and get her. "Carol do they need me?"
"Let's go find out," Carol said. She led Kerry toward trauma one.
"Kerry we need you," Mark said. He led Kerry toward the exam table.
"We have a fifteen year old complaining of chest pain, she fell down some stairs. Try to keep her calm."
Kerry used her cane, not her crutch to reach the table. "What's her name?"
"Julie," Mark said.
"It hurts," Julie said.
"I know, I'm Dr. Weaver,' Kerry said gently. "Dr. Greene is going to help you all right" Kerry took Julie's hand and squeezed it. "What do you do for fun?"
"I like to read and sing," Julie said.
"Do you like sports?" Kerry asked trying to keep Julie distracted from what Mark and Carter were doing.
"I can't play sports, I'm blind," Julie said.
"So am I," Kerry said.
"And you're a doctor?" Julie asked.
"Something like that, yes," Kerry said." Actually I just went blind seven months ago from a car accident. This is my first day back at work."
"Good luck," Julie said. "Is my mom here?"
"We're paging her right now," Carol said. "Keep talking to her Kerry, Mark is almost done," Carol whispered in Kerry's ear.
Kerry nodded. She pressed the talk button on her watch and put it up to her ear.
"OK, she's ready to be moved to a room," Mark said. He pulled Kerry aside. "Great job keeping her calm."
"Thanks," Kerry said. "Is it OK if I stay with her, she's blind also and I know how she feels, being in a big place. It's scary when you can't see."
"Sure," Mark said. He led her to exam four where Julie was lying.
"Julie?" Kerry asked when she reached the bed.
"Dr. Weaver," Julie said. "Are you going to stay with me?"
"Yes, just until your mom gets here," Kerry said. She sat down in the chair beside Julie's bed. "How's the pain?"
"Not bad," Julie said. "What was that sound, that little voice telling the time?"
"My talking watch," Kerry said. She held the watch to Julie's ear and pressed the talk button.
"I have one of those but I walked out of the house without it this morning," Julie said. "How long did you say you've been blind?'
"Seven months," Kerry said. "I've been at the Center for the Blind in Atlanta to learn how to be independent. Have you been blind your whole life?"
"Yes, I was blind at birth," Julie said. "Are you learning Braille?"
"Yes, but it's very complicated."
"I know what you mean. It's very heard to get some things in Braille, that's why I use books on tape. They are so much easier."
"Really, I'll have to try that," Kerry said. "They told me about that at the center but I've always been more of a reader than a listener."
"Believe me, books on tape is a whole lot easier than hours of reading Braille."
"I'll keep that in mind," Kerry said. Then the door opened and Carol walked in. "Kerry your talking typer thing is going nuts, Jerry threatened to throw it across the room if it didn't shut up."
Kerry sighed and stood up. "I'll be right back Julie." Kerry took Carol's arm and went to where she'd left the talking typer. While she was fixing it Carol tapped her on the shoulder.
"Kerry, the parents of Julie are here," Carol said. She led Kerry back to exam four.
"Dr. Weaver, I'm Jenny Web, Julie's mom," Mrs. Web said. "Julie tells me that you're blind also?"
"Yes," Kerry said. She shook hands with Mrs. Web. "Julie and I were having a great discussion right before you came. My talking typer thing was acting up so I had to go fix it before one of my employees threw it across the room." Kerry went over to the bed. "Julie how's the pain?"
"OK, I guess," Julie said. "Mom, Kerry just went blind, seven months ago."
"Julie I don't think Dr. Weaver wants you telling me all about her blindness," Mrs. Web said.
"That's quite all right," Kerry said. "Julie has actually been very helpful."
"Mom do you think that I could show Dr. Weaver some of the stuff I use at school?"
"Sure, if Dr. Weaver wants," Mrs. Web said.
"I'd love to," Kerry said. She turned to Mrs. Web. "Mrs. Web can I talk to you outside for a minute please."
'Sure," Mrs. Web said following Kerry toward the door. "We'll be right back Julie." Once they wee outside Mrs. Web started talking. "Julie doesn't know many kids her age who are blind and the ones she does know aren't in any of her classes. I guess when she found out you were blind she kind of took to you."
"Julie is a very bright teenager," Kerry said. "Hey, I need someone like her to show me the ropes a little. I'm new to this blind thing and talking to her has helped a lot."
"She responds to you, if you wouldn't mind maybe you could spend some time with her a few times," Mrs. Web said.
"I'd like that," Kerry said. "Well, I'd better get back and see how she's doing."
Two hours later Kerry was at the nurses station working on some paper work. She jumped when she felt a tap on the shoulder.
"Sorry," Mark said. 'I didn't mean to scare you."
"It's OK, what's up?' Kerry asked taking the earphones from her ears.
"What were you talking to Julie about that took so long?" Mark asked.
"Stuff, she's blind and doesn't really know anyone else who is so I talked to her awhile," Kerry said. "She doesn't really have anyone who understands what she's going through. I know I've only been blind seven months but I can understand what she is feeling"
"Well Dr. Weaver you may be blind but you certainly haven't lost the ability to help people," Mark said. "What time are you off?"
"At eight," Kerry said. She checked the time. "Six more hours to go."
Over the next few weeks Kerry began to learn her way around the ER and often talked to Julie. Julie taught her a lot of things and Kerry was grateful to have a friend like her. She was getting better and better at helping with traumas. Kerry smiled as she listened to the familiar chaos of the ER. She knew that no matter what happened she could always depend on her ER friends to help her. Kerry was glad to be doing the thing she loved most, helping people.