I stood transfixed, with my finger deep in the girl’s chest.
She was breathing easier now.
With every breath, I felt soft, spongy lung tissue expand against my finger.
How incredible is that, I thought. Perfect lungs doing their job. Almost ruined by the knife of a callous boyfriend.
I had been slow on the uptake with intercostal drains. Until Tuesday, one ICD from start to finish could take me 45 minutes. But Tuesday I was in a zone. My hands knew what to do, and they did it. I even remembered to side-step the spurt of blood as I breached the haemothorax.
And because I was calm, I noticed the sensation of an expanding lung for the first time.
It was sort of a life-affirming moment. A little like delivering your first baby.
The nurse cleared his throat. “Doctor,” he brought me down to Earth. I zoned back in, and took hold of the drain he had been holding out to me for who knows how long.
A few days from now the ICD will be removed and she will carry on with her young life.
But does she realise what miracles expand and deflate within her chest?