She curls on the couch sobbing. She found her son not breathing when she came home from her midnight shift. He is on the floor now. The fire department first responders do compressions on his bare chest.
The man is lean and muscled with jailhouse tattoos on his arms, chest, and neck. It isn’t a stretch to think heroin.
His mother’s boyfriend confirms this to us. The man on the floor was a user. They argued about it every day, but he kept using. Two torn heroin bags are found on the floor.
We work him for twenty minutes with no response. Asystole throughout. His skin is cool, his pupils fixed and dilated. There is already some stiffening in his jaw. We call the hospital for permission to cease the resuscitation. It is granted.
We remove the airway, electrodes and defib pads and place them along with our gloves in the bag the ambu-bag came in.
His mom kneels over him now, kissing his face, her tears falling on his cold skin. “Vente conmigo, vente conmigo, “ she cries. Come with me, come with me. “No te vaya, no te vaya.” Do not go, do not go. “Mi nino, mi amor, mi corazon, te quiero.” My son, my love, my heart. I love you. “Vente conmigo, no te vaya.”
I stand by his feet holding a clean white sheet. I am motionless.