Photo: Mary Koziol, Facebook
Photo: Mary Koziol, Facebook

Mary Koziol

McGill University

Class of 2018

I notice him several times as I hurry past, wondering to myself what his story could be. He’s quite an old man, at least in his 80s. From a distance, I see two bulging black eyes, his face a mess of dripping blood. He’s observing the hustle of the ER with the expression of an accidental spectator at a cricket match: curious, but evidently a bit lost. I read the chart as I stride towards him: tripped and fell forward onto his face. Lives alone in a retirement home. On blood thinners.

I introduce myself as I approach. Hi Jan, I’m a first year medical student. I’m here to ask you a few questions about what brings you in today. As I get a closer look at him, I take in the dismal condition of his face: bright red blood is leaking from multiple scrapes on his nose and forehead, caking the crevices of his deep wrinkles and spilling onto his neck. He’s having trouble opening his eyes due to the prominent puffy purple bruises that surround them. The blood thinners he’s on are responsible for the rather dramatic result of a not-so traumatic fall; his face is almost caricature-like from the injuries. He’s very pleasant, with a thick Polish accent that instantly warms my heart, bringing to mind my own beloved grandfather. He recounts tripping over a curb and falling onto his face, in the kind of voice that suggests he finds this whole affair quite comical.

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January 29, 2016