Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Eight:
Mike O’Grady was moving between his cameras and camcorders in an almost athletic manner. Jack and some of the crew could hardly keep from laughing out loud as they watched their three hundred pound visual technician dance acrobatically between his cameras. Mike was breathing heavily and perspiring profusely as he barked out directions to the divers telling them in which direction to move his wooden masterpiece. Mike was so engaged in what he was doing that he didn’t seem to realize that it was very unlikely that the divers could hear him. In an almost trance like state Mike paid meticulous attention to the pictures that he was taking. He wanted the model Ogopogo’s movements to look as life- like as possible.
Under the water, one of the divers was startled by a heavy object bumping into his body with considerable force. He quickly rose to the surface in time to see a very unusual creature come to the surface. One of Jack’s crew called out to him, “Jack, look to your right!”
“What?” Jack said as he was drinking a beer and had been joking happily with one of his lighting technicians. When he turned to look to his right, Jack dropped his bottle of beer on the deck of his cabin cruiser. It shattered in pieces.
“I don’t believe it! What is that thing? It’s trying to jump on the back of Mike’s model,” Jack said, his face registering extreme fright.
The lighting crew turned their lights on high beam in order to get a better look at the phenomenon right before their eyes.
The creature was small in relation to the size of the replica but it looked eerily similar to the model. It was greenish in colour and could be as much as ten feet long. It had a long neck and thick body with visible flippers. It was trying hard to get the model Ogopogo’s attention.
“You can call me crazy, but that animal looks like a much smaller version of Ogopogo,” Jack said, who was now pacing around the boat’s deck and was wildly gesticulating in the direction of the creature. Jack didn’t pay any attention to the shards of his broken beer bottle that he was stepping on.
“Why is it trying to get on top of the model’s back?” asked one of the lighting technicians.
“It’s trying to play with the fake Ogopogo. So far it hasn’t figured out that it’s not real,” one of the muscular crew members answered.
“Who knows? The little guy might think it’s found its mother,” Jack surmised.
Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Nine:
“Move the boats closer!” Jack Kimberley yelled to the two men at the helm. “I want to get as close to this thing as we possibly can. I want Mike to be in a position to get the best possible video footage. Lighting crew, turn up the lights. I want this footage to be as clear as is technically possible.”
Mike O ‘Grady worked his video equipment like a man possessed.
“Jack, do you realize that this is going to be the most credible evidence ever of Ogopogo’s existence?” said Tyrone, on of Jack’s crew members.
By this time the Ogopogo, junior edition, had taken notice of the two boats. It had probably become cognizant of the fact that the wooden replica was not alive and was therefore not one of its own species. The bright lights and the cameras appeared to have angered the creature. It started moving rapidly in the direction of the two boats. It swam right up to the side of the cabin cruiser and began pounding one of its flippers against it.
With an unbelievable display of courage Mike did not leave his video equipment and kept his camcorder focused right on the creature.
Justin, one of the other crew members, screamed at Mike to stop the filming and to move away from the creature. Unfortunately, Mike was too mesmerized by what was happening to pay any attention to Justin.
Within a matter of seconds the creature raised its long head and neck out of the water. It opened its mouth revealing a menacing set of teeth. It wrapped its mouth around Mike’s right arm and in one swift bite tore it off.
Mike screamed in agony and passed out from the shock of his sudden amputation.
By this time the smaller crew of the speed boat had climbed aboard the cabin cruiser. As Jack and the crew members of both boats rushed to Mike’s side trying to attend to him, the creature suddenly submerged with the greater part of Mike’s arm in its mouth.
What little was left of Mike’s right arm was spouting blood profusely all over the cabin cruiser’s deck. Fortunately, one of the crew members that Jack had hired, Brian Kelly, was a trained paramedic. Thinking ahead, he had brought his medical supply bag on board the boat. Brian immediately took a large bandage out of his bag and expertly applied a tourniquet to the stump of Mike’s arm. He then applied all of the large bandages and gauze that he had available to him.
Brian has successfully stopped the blood from gushing, but he knew that the crew had to get Mike to a hospital quickly if he was going to survive. Mike regained consciousness when Brian started giving him medical assistance, but was now rapidly going into shock.
Brian had now taken charge of the crew and started giving orders. Jack Kimberley was not about to invoke Brian’s authority realizing the severity of the situation.
Brian Kelly began to bark out orders. “We need to immediately get these boats back to shore. You two guys, who were manning the boats, get these boats moving immediately. Time is of the essence if we are going to save Mike’s life. He needs to get to a hospital emergency room as quickly as possible. Jack, do you have any blankets on board your boats?”
“Yes, I do. I think have three large blankets,” Jack answered.
“Good, let’s get them out now. Mike is in shock and we need to keep him as warm as possible,” Brian said. He was no longer acting as a crew member, but as the true medical professional that he was trained to be. Jack’s boat travelled to the lake front at top speed. With Mike’s life being in danger, no one thought of retrieving the replica of Ogopogo. The divers would not have been willing to risk their lives trying to get the model back on the boat. They did not know if Ogopogo was still in close proximity. The replica was to remain floating on the surface of the lake.
Chapter One Hundred Thirty-Two:
When Jack Kimberley and his crew arrived at the Kelowna General Hospital, Mike O’Grady’s medical condition had further deteriorated. Jack ran into the emergency ward entrance to ask if he could get some orderlies to bring a stretcher out to his truck. He told the security guard on duty that there was a man in his vehicle who was near death and required immediate medical attention. The old security guard immediately walked to the nurse’s station and advised the nurses on duty of the critical situation. The head nurse quickly found two orderlies who could take a stretcher out to Jack’s truck. She was able to find an intern who would follow the orderlies out to the vehicle. The intern’s name was Dr. Ian McLeod. He was a young man with short sandy blond hair. His white medical coat covered Ian’s slight build.
When Dr. McLeod got a look at Mike O’Grady, he quickly determined that if Mike did not receive medical attention immediately his patient would probably die. The stump of Mike’s right arm was covered by layers of bandages that were now soaked through with Mike’s blood.
Brian Kelly, the paramedic on Jack’s crew started giving the intern pertinent information about Mike’s medical situation. He told the intern that Mike O’Grady had his right arm ripped off by a large unidentified fish that could have been a sturgeon.
Dr. McLeod did not waste any time getting Mike into an operating room. He asked Brian Kelley what he could tell him about Mike’s medical history. Brian told him that he did not know the patient well, but that Jack Kimberley would likely have more information. Jack told the doctor that Mike O’Grady was grossly overweight and suffered from severe arthritis in his neck, spine and knees. He also stated that Mike had COPD. Jack was not sure if Mike was diabetic or had a history of heart disease.
Dr. McCloud observed that Mike was in shock and had lost a great deal of blood. Mike’s face displayed a sickly blue pallor. A nurse hooked Mike up so that the doctor could monitor the patient’s vital signs. The young intern phoned the second floor to see if a surgeon was available and could come to the operating room immediately.
A surgeon, Dr. Phillip Garvey arrived in the operating room a few minutes later. Dr. Garvey was in his early forties. He wore glasses with black frames that gave him a very scholarly appearance. He asked Jack and Brian what had happened to Mike’s arm. Jack retold the story about Mike’s arm being severed by a large fish and that the fish had taken Mike’s arm below the surface of the water.
Dr. Garvey ordered a blood transfusion for his patient. He looked over at the machine that was monitoring Mike’s vital signs.
“Mr. O’Grady is in a dangerously weakened condition. I will try to stop the blood loss, but I can’t guarantee that this patient will live. His overall physical condition is very poor and he has lost a great deal of blood. After Mike has received a blood transfusion I will be in a better position to assess his odds for survival. For the time being I would ask that all of you go to the waiting room. I will provide you with any medical updates after we start treating Mr. O’Grady. I would highly recommend phoning his next of kin,” said Dr. Garvey.
Jack, Brian and some other crew members made their way out of the operating room.
A team of paramedics brought Garry Phelge directly to the Emergency Department of the hospital. As he had several visible contusions Garry was seen immediately by the triage nurse. One of the other nurses on duty took information provided by the paramedics. The paramedics emphasized that not only did Garry have both known and undetermined physical injuries he was also in a delusional state. The duty nurse whispered this information to the triage nurse.
Garry was semi- conscious when the triage nurse measured his blood pressure. She handed Garry a towel to put pressure on his bloody lips. Garry could still see the nurse although his vision was blurry. The triage nurse began to ask Garry questions while typing his answers into the computer.
“Do you know where you are, Garry?
“Yes,” said Garry. This place looks like a hospital.” His tee shirt was bloody and he was having great difficulty seeing out of his left eye. Garry spat out a tooth in between the first and second question.
“Why did the paramedics bring you here?” asked the nurse.
“Because I got beat up by a big, fat bastard on the bus,” Garry replied.
“Why do you think the police constables helped bring you into the hospital?”
“I don’t know. They should be arresting the prick that beat me up for no good reason.”
“Are you in a lot of pain asked the nurse? How would you rate your pain on a scale of one to ten?”
“Twenty,” said Garry. That fat creep punched and kicked me in the face. Then he used his steel toe boots on my ribs.”
“Do you feel sick?”
“Yeah, I feel woozy and nauseous.” After he finished answering the question, Garry threw up on the floor. The nurse immediately called for a janitor to come clean up the mess.
“Our duty nurse will take you to a patient’s room where you can wait for the doctor to see you. Should we put a pail in your room?”
“Yeah, I would. I might barf again,” answered Garry.
The duty nurse met briefly with an intern to inform him of Garry’s presenting
symptoms. The intern called to ask if there was anyone available from the Psych Department. He was told that the psychiatric on duty could give Garry
an assessment in approximately one hour. This gave the intern adequate time to do a physical evaluation of Garry’s condition and to wait for the results of his patient’s x-rays and blood tests. As Garry’s lips were swollen and bleeding, the intern asked the duty nurse to suture Garry’s cut lip.
A young blond female paramedic in her twenties and her handsome young male partner were the first to attend to the resident in the stairwell.
“He’s not breathing and I’m not getting a pulse,” the female paramedic said to her co-worker.
“He’s feeling stiff and cold to to the touch,” added her male colleague.
Just then a young police constable and his senior partner arrived on the scene.
“How’s the man doing?” asked the younger police officer.
“He’s dead,” the male paramedic answered. “He has numerous contusions on his body and his neck could possibly be broken as a result of a fall or a push.”
“The medical examiner will need to determine the exact cause of death. I’ll call for the detectives,” the senior constable said to his young partner.
Within ten minutes a big , burly detective in his early fifties named Jeff Barnes arrived with his partner, Krista Holland, a trim, attractive, strawberry blond, female detective.
As all this was happening, the security guard, Jim Bellows, had called a code blue for the building. This meant that all available staff who were available were to respond to the site of the incident. The first residential care worker to arrive at the scene was a tall, thin woman in her late forties. She was instructed to stay where she was by the male detective.
After a brief introduction to each other Constable Redding asked the residential care worker to round up the rest of the staff of the facility and have them wait in the staff room until the detectives were ready for them.
The second staff to arrive at the scene was Rick Jennings, the mental health wing supervisor. Rick was a good looking, physically fit man man who had just turned forty. He quickly identified himself to the detectives. When Rick asked what had happened, the female detective, Krista Holland, told Rick to wait in the staff room but not before informing the supervisor that a resident of the facility was dead.
Becoming alarmed Cora ran out of the stairwell to get help.
As she opened the door to the stairs she saw a security guard doing his rounds. She called out that a man was down in the stairway. The security guard immediately called 911.
In under five minutes four paramedics arrived on the scene. The paramedics in this city were very familiar with this facility and the surrounding neighborhood. It was not unusual for emergency personnel to pay ten to twenty visits per week to this facility. Many of the calls they received were, in
Essence, false alarms. When the paramedics arrived at the scene they would
often find that the client was very intoxicated with either alcohol, drugs, or both being the culprit. Other times they would be called out due to a client complaining of being short of breath and or having chest pain. Other occasions the calls would be for residents experiencing anxiety attacks or going into psychosis. Two years ago they had been called to the scene for an actual fatal stabbing incident.
When the paramedics arrived to check Drake out they didn’t find any evidence of a spinal injury. They took Drake to the hospital to have a doctor check him out. The doctor at the hospital told Drake that his case of mononucleosis was very severe and was causing his weakness and fainting. The doctor recommended six months to a year off work to allow Drake to recuperate.
That same day Drake phoned his principal, Bob Hanes with the prognosis.
“I want you take as much time as you need, Drake, to fully recover. You have a very challenging job and you’ll need to be in top physical condition to perform your regular duties. I’m going to start interviewing as soon as possible to get a replacement for you. You gave us quite a scare Drake and we all wish you a recovery to your peak form,” said the principal.
Drake had to admit that he was relieved by how well his boss was taking this and he was actually looking forward to the time to rest up. He was also happy that he would now have more time to spend with his family.
After six months Drake felt that he was ready to resume his teaching assignment. Within about a month Drake realized that he had made a big mistake. He had returned to work too soon. Having been off work for several months Drake had forgotten just how much energy it took to teach a classroom of children with special needs. He tried to tough it out and did not want to tell his principal that he was struggling.
Bob Hanes was an experienced administrator who was not convinced when Drake would tell him that he was feeling okay. Mr. Hanes had noticed that Drake was making his lessons shorter and was having more discipline problems than usual. He also noticed that Drake had lost all the color from his complexion except for gray.
After Drake’s first month back was completed Bob Hanes called him into his office for a serious talk. “I’ll get straight to the point Drake. I’d want you to know that I’ve always liked you personally and in the past I was very pleased with your teaching performance. But now, unfortunately, things have changed. I hate to say this to you Drake, but I can see that you’re really struggling. If I were allow you to continue like this I feel that I would be putting your health in danger and it wouldn’t be fair to your students either. Drake, I want you to see your doctor as soon as possible and to tell him the truth. Tell your doctor as honestly as you can how you are feeling and what I have said. I’m going to get a substitute for your classroom until you return from your doctor’s appointment. I will need a clear bill of health from your doctor or I cannot allow you to continue teaching. I’m very sorry to have to tell you this but I’m very worried about you.”