As nurses rushed Chris back to the ER, Eisenmesser was on the phone with Dr. Todd Chapman, chief of cardiac surgery at Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center.
Doctor Chapman was at his Washoe Valley home when the call came, and he was on his way immediately.
It was a five-minute drive to the hospital.
surgical assistant of 17 years, Julie Hansen.
They'd been through this drill many times before, and the other members of the team were en route in minutes.
was among the first to arrive, and he
knew instantly the gravity of the situation.
had no reservations about his
abilities or those of his
made the incision into the chest and saw the damage.
A surprise, and not a good one.
could see it was an aneurysm that had ruptured.
also saw an opportunity.
The aorta above the rupture was undamaged, and he
would be able to sew in a Dacron tube to repair the aorta.
Nearly six hours after the operation began, Chapman
and Hansen approached them in the waiting room.
knew there were the "unexpected assassins waiting around the corner" that could still take her
It was also possible she
had brain damage.
The next two hours would be critical.
remained serious talking with the family, telling them her
odds had risen to 75 percent now.
But compared to what they had been through, the news was unmistakably positive.
"Thank God she's
OK," Sabrina thought through her
going to be OK."
rode the elevator down and walked into the ER.
didnít have to be as reserved now as he
talked happily with the nurses who were the first to care for Chris when she
They were elated at the news.
"You have to go see her
was sure his
patient was stable, Chapman drove home.
usual double espresso, took off his
cowboy boots and went to bed.