Eight years ago, after having performed an operation on a severely injured motorcyclist, I was about to leave the hospital and head home. I was walking through the ICU at the Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital and decided to quickly visit a second patient who had been involved in the same motorbike accident and also undergone life-saving surgery.
When I arrived at his bedside, I looked at both him and his numbers on the monitors of the life-support equipment. Straight away, I knew he was in a lot of trouble and wouldn’t make it through the night. As I stood there looking at him, I had this overwhelming feeling that I just couldn’t let him die. I had to do something, but what to do would be the challenge given his vital signs and the magnitude of his injuries.
What I didn’t know at the time, was that many people were praying to support him and his family. So, I was part of a bigger plan, without knowing it.
After having confirmed my first impression of his condition with the senior ICU doctor and having spoken with the patient’s devastated family and wife (who was overseas in France at the time with their baby daughter), I made the decision to take him back to the operating theatre in one last bid to save his life.
Over the next few weeks, while he was still in an induced coma, his loved ones told me many stories about him and his many great attributes, including that he was a strong and communicative individual, physically (which I had already experienced), mentally and spiritually. I really became more and more curious to get to know him and talk to him.
Once he woke up and was able to speak again, Darryl and I finally got the chance to talk with each other! It was a fantastic experience to share both of our stories, and circumstances under which we met. Unwrapping the preceding weeks for both sides to this remarkable story was amazing and showed us both that our paths were meant to cross. We were both part of a miraculous story that had such a profound impact not just on us, but the many people who had shared the journey with us.