“In my bag is a bottle of vodka,” I said, snapping on the latex gloves. “And a ballpoint pen. I’m going to need both of those.”
I opened the unconscious biker’s mouth and my suspicions were right. Most of his teeth were missing and were blocking his airway.
Michelle pulled out the vodka and handed it to me, then rummaged through my bag for the ballpoint pen “Caveman… is he… is he going to be okay?” she asked, handing me the pen with shaky hands.
“He won’t be if I don’t get that airway clear,” I said, unscrewing the pen. I glanced at my phone on the ground and gestured to it with a nod of my head. I didn’t need Michelle watching what I was about to do. “I need you to get back on the phone with emergency services and see how far away the EMT is. Tell them there is a doctor on the scene but she has to do an emergency crike.”
She looked at me with wide eyes. “A what?”
“Tell them there is a doctor on the scene and she is giving the patient an emergency crike,” I said calmly.
While she busied herself with the call, I tipped vodka over Caveman’s throat in a crude attempt to sterilize the area, then using the very small, but very sharp, scalpel, I slit into his throat.
That was when Michelle decided to pull a gun on me.
“Wha… what are you doing to Caveman?” she cried.
I glanced over my shoulder to reassure her that I was doing the only thing that could be done to save her friend’s life, and came face to face with the business end of a handgun.
“Are you fucking kidding me?” I had just put a hole in her friend’s throat, and now she decided to confront me? “I don’t have time for this, Michelle.”
“You’re hurting him…!” she cried, her very shaky hands swaying the handgun closer to my face.
I wasn’t alarmed about having a gun waved at me—I was pissed. And the adrenaline pumping through my veins had me wanting to unrelocate that shoulder of hers just so she would stop being such a pain in the ass while I tried to save this guy’s life. He was cyanosed and would die within minutes. I didn’t have time to explain it to her, but the fact that she had a Glock up in my face gave me little choice.
“Listen, if I don’t get this airway clear, your friend is going to die.”
“Boyfriend… he’s… my… boyfriend,” she corrected me.
Because clearly now was the time to establish that.
“Listen, do whatever it is you’re going to do, but right now I have to get this pen into that hole in his throat if I want him to have any chance at survival. Do you understand? He will die if I don’t do this.”
Time was running out. Caveman was in peri arrest. So I turned away and prayed she didn’t shoot me as I continued slicing into the skin of his throat. I pushed two fingers into the cut and felt for the cricothyroid membrane. Blood was bright red as it rose to the surface of the wound and rolled down his throat. I glanced over my shoulder at Michelle, who half had me at gunpoint and half stared at what I was doing to her boyfriend in disbelief.
“How far off is that EMT?” I asked in an attempt to shake her out of her craziness. Shock was settling in and I couldn’t afford for her to lose it again while I was trying to save this guy’s life.
I turned back to Caveman and inserted the base of the scalpel into the incision, rotating it to hold the hole open wide. With a steady hand, I pushed the pen through the hole, passed the cricothyroid membrane and into his trachea. Not wasting anymore time, I leaned down and gave two quick breaths into the pen and felt a little win when I saw Caveman’s chest rise and fall. I counted to five in my head and then gave him another breath of air.
At the sound of arriving sirens, Michelle fell to the ground with a sob and discarded the gun to the side as if it was all too much for her. Shock and distress took over and she stared straight ahead at some invisible entity in front of her.
I nodded toward the gun. “You might want to get rid of that.”
She looked dazed at the sound of my voice, but then quickly grabbed the gun and pushed it into her handbag. I checked Caveman’s pulse but it was very weak and I didn’t hold out much help for him if the EMTs didn’t arrive soon.
At the sound of tires on gravel, both Michelle and I looked up the embankment, and within seconds, Sheriff Buckman appeared at the ledge.