Season 1, Episode 30
Last time we visited, David Jenkins lay dying in his hospital bed. Krystal Sullivan took it upon herself to take the man’s dog, Rex to the hospital to see his owner one last time. Krystal entered the hospital and was told that the man had been moved from the CCU to a room on the second floor.
Krystal dashed up three flights of stairs with Rex by her side. They got to the room that Mr. Jenkins was in. The poor man was all alone on his deathbed. Rex quickly recognized his owner and began to wag his tail. Krystal watched the heart monitor beat periodically with old man Jenkins’s ragged heartbeat.
What happened next was impossible to define in the annals of Labrador Hills Regional Hospital lore. The man who had been left for dead seemed to be responding to his dog. The dog put his front feet on the bed and began licking the man’s hand.
Old Man Jenkins had not moved in several hours, while in his unconscious state. Without warning, the dog’s presence seemed to have an amazing effect on him. “Did he just move his hand?” Krystal wondered to herself. She could not believe what she was seeing.
Suddenly the heart blips on the monitor became stronger and more steady. “Oh my god! This is unbelievable!” Krystal said half aloud. She was flabbergasted. Normally very professional at the hospital, she momentarily did not know what to do. She had never run across such a situation before.
She knew it was helpful to have friends and family visit patients in the hospital. The effect they had was almost always positive. In this case it was taken to a new extreme that she had never witnessed. It appeared that, just by being there, Rex had literally saved the man’s life. Krystal was elated.
Rex let out a soft whine while his tail continued to wag furiously. Then a quick bark as if telling the man it was time to get up. Krystal watched the miracle continue as she saw the man’s hand slowly rise off the bed to stroke the dog’s head.
“I’ve got to get a hold of myself,” Krystal said. But it was too late. The flood of tears could not be stopped. Her emotions overcame her once again – only this time it was tears of joy. She knew there would likely never be a moment like this again in her career.
She knew there was something she should do, some action she should take, some people to alert. But for a few short moments, she sat there soaking in the scene, which to her could only be described as a miracle.
She continued to watch in awe. The man’s eyes, long ago believed to never open again, began to flicker. He winced as if trying to get them to moisten. Then he looked at his dog and gently said, “Rex.”
The dog appeared to comprehend exactly what was going on. He was frequently whimpering and there was an occasional bark, as if coaxing the man to live. Old Man Jenkins looked around and saw Krystal standing there.
The two looked at each other. Without saying a thing, Jenkins understood. It all made sense. He was back. The nurse who treated him earlier by tending to his shoulder injury, had just saved his life.
It was an act that was selfless, desperate, careless and necessary. Because of her and Rex, he would live.
The man tried to speak again. “Water,” was the only word he could get out. With that, Krystal snapped back into nurse mode and quickly dried her tears. She told him to hang on for just a moment and sprinted out of his room and down the hall.
Within minutes there were half a dozen people in the room and they quickly prepared Mr. Jenkins to be transported back down to the CCU. Rex was allowed to be with him the entire time. He rode on the man’s bed as they wheeled it down the hall.
Once again, the halls of the hospital were electric. The energy that had been one of negativity had turned completely around. Smiles were seen on the faces of all of the hospital staff and many were reminded of the reason why it was they had chosen this particular field as their profession.
Krystal found her supervisor and was preparing to give her a long apology and explanation when she was interrupted. “Girl! You get yourself home and draw a hot bath! Your work here today is done!” her boss declared. “No ifs, ands or butts. I don’t want to hear another word!”
All she could do was smile as she slowly made her way to the parking lot. She hardly remembered parking just an hour or so ago.
When she got to her car, she beamed at her dog, Fantasia who had been waiting for her. Fantasia could tell things had gone well by the look on Krystal’s face…