41. Holding his open‐face motorcycle helmet in his left hand, Jack told his friend, "The party was good, but next time you've got to invite more women."
His friend said, "Sure. Like it's my job in life to set you up with women. Are you okay to drive? Every time I saw you, you had a beer in your hand. You can stay here tonight if you want."
Jack said, "Thanks. I didn't have that many beers. I paced myself. You've got to know your limit when you're on a bike."
He said good night, put on his helmet, got on his motorcycle, and drove off. Traveling at about 60 mph on an unlit, two‐lane road, he missed a curve and drove into an open concrete culvert. He lay next to his motorcycle for 20 minutes before a truck driver noticed the wreckage.
A half hour later, Jack was lying on a gurney in the local hospital. Moaning in pain, he was unaware of his condition or whereabouts. The emergency room doctors gave him no medication—they needed to examine him thoroughly before taking him to surgery.
His jaw was broken, as were all three bones in his right leg. Part of his femur was protruding through his thigh, and there was a deep hole in his shin just below his knee. Dr. Kildare wanted to amputate Jack's leg just below the knee. He said the hole in the shin was so deep that infection would be inevitable. He figured amputation then would be better than amputation later.
Dr. Welby disagreed. He said Jack was young enough to heal rapidly, with little possibility of significant infection. Since Dr. Welby was in charge, Jack was allowed to keep his leg. Dr. Kildare would just have to wait for another banged‐up motorcycle rider.
The day following surgery, Jack achieved consciousness briefly in his hospital room. He didn't notice that his leg was suspended and completely immobilized. He didn't notice that there was an IV tube and needle taped into the back of each hand. He didn't notice that his jaw was wired shut. All he noticed was that a beautiful young nurse was looking at him. He tried to introduce himself, but he had no idea what his name was. He went right back to sleep. 5.5, 387
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