West Wing to Maternity Wing!

By: Scarlet Wilson

Lincoln shook his head and his brow furrowed. He waved his arm. ‘You must know a dozen doctors who could take care of your baby. Why me, Amy?’

Her answer was immediate and straight to the point and he could see tears glistening in her eyes. ‘I might know a dozen doctors, Linc, but none of them are like you. You’re the best. The best neonatologist I’ve ever known. You did things on that boat that TV movies are made out of—with virtually no equipment and only the most unskilled staff.’ She gestured towards herself.

He shook his head. ‘You’re not unskilled, Amy. You’re a damn fine nurse and you know it.’

‘I’m a damn fine theatre nurse, Linc. I had no experience at all with neonates. I went there as a specialist nurse in eye theatre, and that was fine for all the cataract, squint and glaucoma surgeries. I even managed to struggle through with cleft-palate surgeries and emergency appendectomies. But I’d never really worked as a general, medical or paediatric nurse before—I’d never looked after pregnant women before. I was seriously out of my depth and you helped me—you know you did.’

Lincoln leaned over and took her hand again. ‘But we were a team, Amy, we helped each other. Everyone was selected because of their individual skills and level of expertise. But at the end of the day we treated what came through the door.’

She shook her head. ‘No one was as dedicated to those babies as you were, Linc. You were the one who would stay up half the night, watching over them.’ His brow furrowed. ‘Why was that, Linc? I asked before, but you wouldn’t tell me.’

He shrugged his shoulders and she could see him searching for the words. His eyes looked darker than normal, heavier from fatigue. He sat down next to her. ‘My sister had a premature baby around twenty years ago. There weren’t any facilities near where we stayed and her daughter—my niece—died.’

Amy took a sharp breath and rested her hand on his shoulder.

He gave a rueful smile. ‘My sister was ten years older than me at the time. I watched my little niece struggle for breath, turn blue and die. Our family didn’t really talk about it after that. It was too painful. I hadn’t really been interested in school before then. I was just coasting along. But everything changed after that. I knew if I wanted to be a doctor to help babies like my niece, I had to knuckle down and get the grades—so I did. Medicine for neonates has come a long way in the last twenty years. If my niece had been born now, she would have survived.’

‘You never said anything. Why didn’t you tell me this on the boat?’

Lincoln met her with a pointed stare. ‘Some things are easier not to talk about—don’t you think?’

The heavy air hung between them. Amy held her breath, waiting to see if he would say anything else.

‘Dr Adams?’

A nurse appeared at the curtains, with David standing behind her. ‘They need you in NICU.’

NICU. The neonatal intensive care unit. A place that normally didn’t exist in Pelican Cove—there had never been a need for it. A place that currently held the First Daughter. In the last two days more personnel and supplies had been transferred down from San Francisco Children’s Hospital than he’d thought possible. Didn’t there have to be more than one baby for it to be termed an NICU? He pushed the thoughts from his mind.

‘What can I do for you folks?’ David strode through the curtains with his normal joie de vivre. Lincoln’s eyes met his and he lifted the battered envelope from the bottom of the gurney and handed it to him. ‘I need you to see a friend of mine, please, David.’

David’s face changed, his eyes taking in the patient on the bed. The pregnant patient on the bed. He pulled the notes from the envelope, glancing to see which hospital they had come from, then gave Lincoln an inquisitive stare.

‘My patient now, Dr Adams.’ David’s manner was brisk and to the point. ‘I’ll let you know if I need you.’ His tone was almost dismissive. Whilst at times he gave the impression of being a bumbling fool, as a clinician he was second to none. And Lincoln knew it—it was why he’d asked for David’s help. Amy couldn’t be in safer hands. But there was no mistaking who would be in charge here.

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