Shawn opened his eyes and picked his head up a bit. Owwww! He thought as he put his head back down.
“Babe, you’re awake.”
“Yeah. What happened? Did you hit me over the head or something?” Shawn said quietly.
“What did you just say?” Bryan asked incredulously.
“I said, ‘Did you hit me over the head or something?’” Shawn repeated a bit louder.
“No Shawn, I didn’t. Do you remember what happened at dinner?”
“Dinner? Did I miss dinner?” Shawn asked concerned.
Bryan got a bit worried. He knew Shawn had hit his head when he passed out and fell out of his chair, but didn’t realize that Shawn might have been seriously injured.
“What’s the last thing you remember?”
“We ran inside after you tried to get me to shovel shit. There was some lady…and a guy who lost his husband…” Shawn struggled a bit, “I can’t. I can’t remember their names.”
“It’s okay Shawn. You lay here and keep warm. I’m going to go to the bathroom and once I’m done, I’ll get you a warm bath drawn. Does that sound good?” Bryan asked forcing a smile.
“It does Rrr…rrr…Ryan. No, that’s not right.”
Bryan kept the smile plastered on his face until he could turn away from Shawn. He quietly walked into the bathroom and did what he needed to do. As he left the bathroom, he noted that Shawn was asleep again.
He quietly walked down the stairs and found Patty and Caleb sitting in the living room.
Bryan didn’t try to keep the smile on his face.
“Hey guys, I’m worried. He’s doesn’t remember anything about dinner, he remembers meeting you two but not your names, and he called me Ryan. I don’t know if he was mixing up Bryan and Rowdy or not but I think he’s got a serious head injury.”
Patty didn’t wait for him to finish but was already up and bringing a
cordless phone to Bryan.
“Bryan, it’s been over four hours. If we need to get him to a hospital, we’re gonna have to do it now or he’ll be stuck here in this snow.”
Bryan took a deep breath and called 911. After explaining the issue, he was transferred to the Emergency Department at Hamilton County Regional.
Before long, Bryan was heading back up the stairs to wake Shawn up and ask him questions and exam him as the remote eyes for the ER doctor.
“Yes, he can open his eyes and focus them, but his pupils are not the same size. Yes, he did sleep for a couple of hours. It had been a long day, so we…” there was a pause, “Ames? Oh. Yes sir. If Ames it is, Ames it is. I’ll call 911 and see what I can find out for
road conditions. Thank you again doctor.”
As he hung up the phone, he realized that Shawn was asleep again.
Bryan ran down the stairs, not worrying about how loud he was going down
He ran into the living room and stopped. Patty already knew what was likely going to happen and had already put together a winter survival kit and had pulled together blankets, sleeping bags and everything else they would need if they got stuck. She’d even packed a cooler full of food.
Caleb was dressed in full winter gear and he realized he could hear Caleb’s truck running. Everyone else was in the living room as well.
“We’re not heading to Webster City. They want him in Ames as soon as we can
get him there. They said he should have really done right after the fall.”
Caleb let out a small “Yeehaw.” that was laden with sarcasm. He was mentally tallying up the miles to get to Ames. It would be about 70 miles no matter what way they went. Getting down to Route 20 would be the hardest part. From there it was all prayers that the Transportation Department could keep a single lane open to Ames.
Caleb looked up at Bryan with the sternest look he could give him.
“Let’s get moving. Load up the truck. Shawn will sit shotgun. Patty, bring extra blankets so we can cushion Shawn from the door and the frame of the truck. We’re gonna swaddle him in. Bryan, do you want to drive or should I?”
Bryan looked at Caleb and the fear he had for Shawn’s safety showed in his face. He was thinking of the same 70-or-so miles to Ames. If they could make Highway 20.
A half hour or so later, they had the quad cab loaded and Shawn was bundled into the passenger seat. Caleb dropped the truck into four wheel drive and low gear and took off.
Bryan had his phone out and had figured out that it was gonna be 25 miles of back roads to get down to Highway 20. 25 miles took almost 90 minutes. If Caleb hadn’t been driving even more cautiously than usual, they’d have been in the ditch a few times.
When they got to the interchange with Highway 20, they were flagged down by a state
“You guys transporting a guy to Ames?”
“Uh yeah.” Caleb said hesitantly.
“We got a call from one of the people at your house that you guys were heading down to Ames with a head injury. There’s a plow up on 20 waiting for us. He’s gonna plow in front of us, you’re gonna follow me. We’re getting you to Ames.”
“Yes sir. I’ll pull in behind you and wait for you to lead.”
The officer nodded and trotted back to his car and then they were off. As they got to the ramp, the officer slowed and the lights of the snowplow came on and started clearing the way for them to get to Ames but it was still snowing heavily and the winds were intense.
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