Han Myungjin was washing his forearms with a cleaning brush, when Suhyuk came in.
“I’ve got the surgery consent form.”
“We’ll begin the surgery right now, so wash quickly.”
Suhyuk began to disinfect his hands, and closed his eyes.
“What are you thinking?”
“I’m thinking how to save the patient, sir.”
Han shook his head because Suhyuk was acting as if he was a surgeon performing the surgery.
A resident in the first year was supposed to do only the job of an assistant in the operating room.
However, Han did not say anything about it to him.
“Do you think the patient can open his eyes?” asked Han.
Washing his fingers hard, he replied, “I’m not sure. Oh, actually yes, I think he can. Because his family is waiting outside for him.”
Han, wearing an operating gown, shook his head from side-to-side a bit. It’s the first time he heard a doctor saying something like that. Other doctors would have made a stochastic judgement on his question, citing all kinds of medical terms. Probably they would say he had no probability of opening his eyes.
Suhyuk, now in an operating gown, said, “Let’s go.”
The sound of the monitor checking the patient’s condition began to vibrate.
Han, moving to the operating bed, said to Suhyuk,
“Stick with me.”
The medical staff were surprised. This was an emergency situation, with the outcome of the surgery already presumed to be very bad.
In an important surgery like this, Han was ready to give Suhyuk an assistant’s role.
But nobody dared take an issue with that because it was Han’s decision.
“Give me the scalpel. We’ll open up the patient’s abdomen right away,” said Han,
with a deep breath.
In just a moment, the patient’s belly was swollen like a watermelon.
That meant bleeding was continuing inside his abdomen.
Han said, putting the scalpel to the patient’s abdomen,
“Get ready, as we will search for the damaged organs after blood suction.”
In no time, the scalpel pierced his belly. It was pierced, not opened up.
Then blood was gushing from inside as a result of the high pressure inside his belly.
Drops of blood scattered onto the medical staff’s gowns.
Then Suhyuk began to move, pressing the patient’s belly slowly.
The blood was gushing out more and more.
“What the hell are you doing, man!”
Someone with a mask shouted at him.
“The pressure is very high. If we open it up in this condition, we’re going to see a blood pool all around us.”
Actually, if blood was gushing out at such a high pressure, the organs pushed by pressure of the blood would most likely burst out, which could then lead to damaging the blood vessels and nerves connecting the organs.
The resident who shouted at Suhyuk once again said,
“What are you doing in front of Prof. Han…?”
“He’s doing a good job,” said Han, cutting off his remarks, and he looked at the blood pack. He could not figure out how many packs were used already.
The patient was being furnished with blood continuously, but it was gushing out from his damaged organs. Almost half of the patient’s blood was replaced.
“I think we can open up his belly now.”
The medical staff knitted their brows at Suhyuk’s words.
They did not like him because he was trying to intervene in the surgery.
But Han took a different view of him.
“Okay, we’re opening it up now.”
Han moved the scalpel, saying, “Suction the blood quickly.”
At the professor’s instruction, the assistants put the suction device into the belly.
Then, Suhyuk turned around and grabbed something.
It was a metal bowl for soup, and he put into it some wash liquid contained in a big water basin.
The nurse volunteered to do it, but Suhyuk was already doing it.
“Let me start Irrigation,” said Suhyuk.
Without getting consent from Prof. Han, he poured water liquid into the patient’s belly.
The medical staff were just aghast at Suhyuk’s reckless act, but Suhyuk just kept pouring water liquid, not caring about them at all.
‘I’ve got to finish it as soon as possible.’
The longer it takes and if a minute or a second passes without action, the more trouble the patient will run into.
He was a terminal cancer patient.
Even before he fell, he must have felt a great pain, and now he was bleeding a lot, to make matters worse.
“What are you doing?” Han was shouting at someone, but Suhyuk was not his target.
The medical staff, with frozen faces, were staring at Suhyuk.
“Put the suction device at the right place!”
Though Han usually tried to speak using an honorific tone in the operating room, he did not do so this time.
It was an urgent and dangerous surgery.
The medical staff, who had become like stone statues, instantly came around.
With the noisy sound of blood suctioning, the suction device absorbed the washing fluid mixed with the blood. At that moment their eyes became wider.
“We need more wash fluid.”
Suhyuk put down the vessel, and poured in the whole wash fluid contained in a large container.
Han’s heart began to pound. ‘Ok, that’s what I want!’
Boldness. One could show it only when one was clearly aware of the patient’s condition.
Suhyuk’s boldness was just that.
The medical staff, without saying anything, just focused on their own job.
He cleaned the wash fluid from the overflowed belly, and changed blood packs several times.
They wanted to yell some harsh words at the novice resident Suhyuk, but could not.
Right beside him, Prof. Han was nodding his head.
Soon it became clean inside the belly, but blood was still oozing out.
Suhyuk let out a short sigh and looked at Han.
“Can I look for it, sir?”
He was asking if he could search for the damaged organ.
“Can you do it?”
“Yes, I have done it many, many times.”
When the medical staff looked aghast, Suhuk moved his hands.
Whenever he moved his hands, there was something oozing inside the belly.
In all of the patient’s organs, cancer cells bloomed like molds of white.
In addition, the swollen organs were tangled like one from the beginning.
So, one could not touch them carelessly because even a wrong touch would cause the cancer cell mass to break with bleeding.
But Suhyuk did not blink at all, and asked the patient silently,
‘Uncle, please tell me. Where is the damaged organ?’
As expected, the liver and stomach were normal. It was the same with other organs.
‘Please hold my hand and stand up. Let me know.’
Then the blood was again filling the abdomen.
Suhyuk held out one of his hands, saying “Irrigation.”
Though it was urgent, it was a natural act.
When Han gave him wash fluid, Suhyuk poured it into the belly.
He repeated it several times, with the medical staff staring at him with wide eyes.
‘Yea, that’s what I want.’ Han was shouting to himself in his heart.
For Suhyuk was doing what he had thought was right, and he did it without any hesitation.
Finally, Suhyuk poked through the organs and lifted up the stomach.
Then, the organ hidden inside began to appear.
“He’s bleeding from the spleen. We had better take it out.”
“Are you sure?”
Suhyuk nodded his head at his asking.
“Please trust me. Other organs are normal.”
When Han said that, he moved back and quietly looked at the patient with his eyes closed.
‘Thanks. I found it easily, as you let me know.’
Of course it was impossible for the patient with no consciousness to tell him about it, but Suhyuk thought he could find it because the patient tipped him off.
On a metal tray a reddish spleen as big as a palm was dropped.
It was removed just like that.
Lots of blood was coming out of the belly.
The medical staff squeezed out the blood packs hung over the patient.
Han’s hand also moved all the more quickly, because speed mattered in the surgery.
“Professor Han, the patient’s blood pressure is going up.”
His blood pressure, which was nosediving continuously before, began to go up little by little.
That meant they finished sewing the area where the spleen was located.
Taking a deep breath, Han directed the medical staff, “Please finish it up well.”
Lifting up his loupe, Han turned his head to Suhyuk, who had been looking at the patient quietly.
It was a strange sight.
Resident Suhyuk showed much more surprising dexterity than he expected.
The medical staff stopped the bleeding coming from the patient’s broken legs completely.
It seemed that the patient could not bear it if they did not do something about his legs.
So, the patient was carried into an intensive care unit.
Suhyuk quietly fixed his eyes on the patient’s monitor.
The patient’s condition was unstable. With terminal liver cancer, he had a difficult surgery.
There was nothing unusual even if his vital signs would point to the worst.
The patient probably used up all his physical strength while undergoing the surgery.
“Please bring his guardian.”
At Han’s direction, Suhyuk grabbed disinfected gauzes and wiped out whatever blood there was on the patient’s body. Then he moved out to bring in the guardian.
Looking at him, the medical staff thought to themselves, “Who the hell is this guy?”
His act in the operating room was quick, neat and accurate.
He imparted an impression as if he was a professor specializing in patients with heavy injuries.
“When you see patients in the future, just run around, okay?”
Han opened his mouth, looking at the medical staff in the eye one by one.
Even with a patient dying before them, they were preparing for the operation casually walking around, as if they were doing office work.
“Yes, sir!” they replied.
“I’ll keep an eye on you.”
Han shook his head. Even though they wanted to be a doctor as a means of making money, their slow moving was something he really did not like.
Suhyuk came into the intensive care unit with the patient’s guardian.
Han could figure out why Suhyuk wiped off blood from the patient’s body.
It was too much for the woman with a mental disability and her daughter to accept the situation.
Han thought Suhyuk made sure they would not be surprised as much as possible.
Finding her husband in bed, she opened her eyes wider.
They could not approach the patient easily because of his unusual appearance.
Han, letting out a sigh, rubbed his face.
‘How can I explain to them?’
Then, Suhyuk opened his mouth, angled towards her eyes,
“Your daddy is in a lot of pain right now, so I think he can muster up his strength if you hold his hands.”
The child, nodding her head, came up to him.
She found her father’s face swollen a lot. How come his skin was so yellow?
It was all strange and scary.
“Boohoo… Daddy, please wake up.”
The child cautiously held her father’s hand, which she felt rather hard.
Suhyuk looked at the patient’s wife, when she stepped back as if she was scared.
Suhyuk smiled at her,
“Right now Mr Lee Jinhan is pretending to be sleeping. So, wake him up, so you can go home together.”
Avoiding Suhyuk a bit, she went up to her husband and shook his hands,
“Honey, wake up now. Let’s go home, I’m scared here.”
Suhyuk looked at the family and said to the patient,
“Don’t just lie in bed like that. Please open your eyes!”
Then, the patient opened his mouth,
“I’m okay… Daddy is fine…”
With his eyes closed, he was murmuring.