Christmas at Jimmie's Children's Unit

Christmas at Jimmie's Children's Unit by Meredith Webber Read Free Book Online

Book: Christmas at Jimmie's Children's Unit by Meredith Webber Read Free Book Online
Authors: Meredith Webber
Tags: Medical
when she’d first met him. Her body, that was usually biddable and dependable and had rarely felt anything more than a lukewarm interest in any man since Brian and even he hadn’t provoked much physical reaction.
    Enough of attraction; she’d think about something else. Like why was Angus so definite about not wanting more children? Perhaps it was another way of saying he’d never marry again?
    Get your mind back on work!
    She checked Baby Stamford, wishing he had a name, then was surprised to hear the whirr of a wheelchair coming towards her. Mrs Stamford, pushed by a man who definitely wasn’t a wardsman.
    ‘They said he’d come through very well.’ Mrs Stamford’s voice was back in accusatory mode, daring Kate to argue this piece of good news.
    ‘He’s a little champion,’ she assured the still-pale woman, then she held out her hand to the man. ‘I’m Kate Armstrong, the anaesthetist. I’ll be keeping an eye on him for the next few hours.’
    ‘Pete Stamford,’ the man responded, shaking Kate’s hand, although all his attention was on his baby son who was so dwarfed by wires and tubes it was hard to see much of him. ‘You keep a personal eye on him? Not just watch monitors?’
    ‘I like to be here most of the time,’ Kate told him, and was surprised when the man’s face darkened.
    ‘Then it’s obvious to me he’s not out of the woods yet,’ he said, his muted voice still managing to convey anger.
    ‘He’s been through a huge ordeal for such a tiny baby,’ Kate said gently. ‘Being on bypass takes a lot out of them, and we stop his heart while the switch happens, poor wee mite, but there’s no cause for anxiety. I stay because I like to watch until I’m certain he’s over theeffect of the anaesthetic and sleeping naturally. I can’t always do it, because I’ve usually other ops scheduled, so today it’s a bit of a treat for me.’
    Pete Stamford eyed her with great suspicion and Kate was glad he hadn’t come when all three of the specialists had been in the room. Then he would have been truly alarmed.
    And she was even gladder—or should that be more glad, she wondered—when she realised that Mrs Stamford had wheeled herself closer to the cot, put her hand through the vent and was softly stroking her baby’s arm, talking quietly to him at the same time.
    Kate felt her heart turn over at the sight, then realised Baby Stamford’s father was also looking at his wife, while tears streamed down his cheeks.
    Unable to resist offering comfort, Kate put her arm around his shoulders and he turned to her and sobbed, his chin resting on her head.
    ‘It’s okay,’ she said, more or less to both of them. ‘You’ve been through such an ordeal and it isn’t over yet, but the worst part is behind him, so maybe, little champ that he is, he deserves a name.’
    To Kate’s surprise, Pete straightened. He stepped towards his wife, taking her hand as they both chorused, ‘Bob.’
    They were going to call the baby Bob?
    What about Jack and Tom and Sam, simple syllable names that were in vogue right now? What kind of a name for a baby was Bob?
    It was Mrs Stamford who eventually explained.
    ‘We had a dog once, a border collie, who was the most faithful animal God ever put on earth. Even whenhe was dying of some terrible liver disease, he would drag himself to the doorway to greet Pete every night, and every morning he’d bring in the paper and drop it at my feet, right up to the day he died. He had more strength and courage than any human we’ve ever known, so it seems right to name this little fellow after him.’
    Now Mrs Stamford was crying, too, and Kate quietly backed out of the room, wanting to leave the pair of them to comfort each other—and to get to know their little son.
    Angus returned as she was standing by the main monitors in the PICU. He peered into the room where the couple were, then turned to Kate, his eyebrows raised.
    ‘They’re okay,’ she told him.

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