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The Voyage
  1. Tom J Papadimos, Associate Professor of Anaesthesiology
  1. Department of Anaesthesiology, Medical University of Ohio, 3000 Arlington Avenue, Toledo, Ohio 43614,USA; tpapadimos@mac.com

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    His head hung low, sweat seeped through his scrubs, and I knew that his body ached. He just stood there, spectacles smudged, surgical mask askew, and his eyes glistening. He had just gone twelve rounds with an act of God and lost. You could tell he was in pain. Some awful fate that evening had delivered one of life’s innocent bystanders to our doorstep.

    “Are you ok”, I asked.

    “I’m fine, really, I am”, he responded. His posture and affect belied his situation.

    Throughout our effort, an effort that the harshness of life in a trauma bay had taught me would be fruitless, I watched him. He was earnest, efficient, focused, and he was young. He never gave up and he never surrendered. He worked with incredible fervour, and redoubled his efforts at every setback. After performing a significant resuscitation, we headed to the CT scanner, where his nose was nearly pressed to the glass, fogging the observation window with his concern. His gaze was steady, from the patient to the transport monitor and back.

    Our final stop was the trauma operating room (OR) where we laboured in heat and humidity akin …

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