A 500 word short story by Scott A. Gese
Eric Johnson and Eric Johnston (with a T) were good friends. They had known each other since their college days. Their names were constantly being confused with each other. It was always an honest mistake by people not paying close enough attention.
One evening in late October, the two men were returning from a football game where they watched the home team kick butt. They were in a good mood, laughing and joking. Eric Johnson was driving and not paying close enough attention to the road. A drunk driver pulled out in front of him and they hit the car head on at close to fifty miles an hour.
The cars were mangled. The emergency crew worked hard at getting both Eric's stabilized, transported to the local hospital and admitted to the emergency room.
Eric Johnson was unconscious. He had a ruptured spleen, two broken ribs, a head injury and a broken right leg. He had also lost quite a bit of blood. As soon as he was able, That is, if he survived, he would undergo emergency surgery to remove his spleen.
Eric Johnston (with a T) was in better shape. He was conscious but in a lot of pain. He was given some medication that pretty much knocked him out. He also had a head injury, a back injury and a broken left leg.
The doctors in charge were moving fast to get the two Eric's out of danger and into the recovery room as soon as possible.
Their wives were notified and were soon at the hospital. One of the emergency room doctors came out to consult with the two women. He had a copy of their charts and went over their injuries and how they were currently being treated. When the women asked to see the charts they realized the doctor had mixed the two up. Mrs. Johnson's husband was about to undergo surgery for a ruptured spleen and Mrs. Johnston (with a T) realized it was her husband who had the back injury.
The women quickly pointed out the mistake to the doctor and were quite adamant about making sure the right Eric went into surgery. The doctor assured them it was an honest mistake and that that type of a mix up only happened on television. There were protocols in place to protect the patient and the hospital from such accidents. No such thing would happen here.
After visiting with the two women, the doctor went back to the emergency room. Just to be on the safe side he decided to check the charts. As he looked at the chart of Eric Johnson he noticed a discrepancy. This Eric had a broken right leg, but the chart showed a broken left leg.
He went to check the chart of Eric Johnston (with a T) but found the patient and the chart were gone. “Where's Eric Johnston?” He asked the charge nurse.
“They just rolled him down to surgery to remove his ruptured spleen.”
© Copyright 2019 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.