In a Heartbeat – Chapter Two

Beep, beep…beep, the monitor sounded. Bella turned her head and saw that her mother was sitting in the chair by her bed, asleep, while her father was asleep in the recliner. This was their family life for the last three months. She was getting weaker by the day and it was only a matter of time before her defective, worthless heart would beat for the last time. How had her life come to this?

Bella was the only child of Charlie and Renee Swan. They lived in a home in the outskirts of Baltimore, Maryland. Her father, Charlie, was a Federal Judge and her mother was a stay at home mom, well, at least, she was now. Renee had been a prima ballerina at the Washington Ballet and was in high demand; however, that changed one winter night. She had just finished a performance for the Nutcracker and was walking out of the Kennedy Center. It was snowing heavily and the wind was blowing. Wishing she had worn her boots to the center, she slowly maneuvered in her heels to her car, but when she turned the corner, she was attacked. The masked man pulled out a knife and threatened to kill her if she didn’t give him her purse and keys to her car. As she handed both to the man, she prayed that those were the only things he wanted. Thankfully, he jumped in her car and drove off. As she stood shivering along the side of the road, Charlie pulled up.

“Miss, are you okay?” He asked.

“No, I was just robbed,” Renee cried.

Charlie jumped from his car, took off his coat, and wrapped it around Renee’s shoulders. “My name is Charlie Swan and I am a Judge in Maryland. I promise not to hurt you, but we must get you out of this weather.”

Renee nodded her head and allowed him to help her into his warm car. When he got in on the driver’s side, he picked up his cell phone and called the police.

“911, what is your emergency?”

“This Judge Charles Swan, I am two blocks from the Kennedy Center and a young woman has been robbed.”

“Judge Swan, I will dispatch a patrol car immediately,” the operator said.

After hanging up with the police, he turned toward the young woman and was captivated by her beauty. As he stared at the woman, he couldn’t help but think that he had seen her somewhere before. “What has you out on such a cold snowy night?”

“I just performed at the Kennedy Center,” Renee said, as gazed upon her hero. She was mesmerized by his dark brown eyes and little amount of grey hair on his temples. His voice smooth and comforting, yet his deep voice pulled at her interior core. How could she be thinking of how sexy this man was right after her attack?

“You are the Sugar Plum Fairy,” Charlie stated in amazement. He had just attended the performance and was enchanted by the ballerina.

“You were in attendance?”

“Yes, I am a member of the Maestro’s Circle. I love the arts.”

Renee, of course, knew the different levels of support for the center and, on a few occasions, had the chance to meet some of the high-level members, but never had she met a Maestro. “Thank you so much for your support. I, too, love the arts.”

“Is your family close; I could call them to come for support?” Charlie asked, wanting Renee to have as much support as she could get. He had this overwhelming need to ensure that she was safe and happy.

“No. My parents were killed a few years ago in their home by a robbery went wrong and I have no other relatives,” Renee explained.

Charlie’s feeling of protectiveness multiplied by ten when he heard that. This beautiful, talented young woman had no family, but then, it hit him, she could be married or have a boyfriend. “Is there someone else I can call for you, a husband or boyfriend perhaps?” He asked, even though he hoped not, not for her, but for his own heart.

“No, I have been too busy to have either one of those.”

The police pulled up and began talking to Renee. Charlie remained by her side and, at times, placed his hand on the small of her back for support. They took all her information and said they would be contacting her when they had any information, but instructed her to cancel her credit cards and change the locks on her house. This was something she hadn’t thought about, the robber not only had her home address but also the keys to getting inside. She physically shook in fear with the thought that the person who had already violated her, could do it again, maybe even worse.

Charlie could feel Renee shaking, so, pulling her close to his body he whispered into her ear. “I won’t let him touch you.” From that night on, he made sure she was safe. They spent as much as they could together and soon they realized that they had fallen head over heels in love with each other. Even though Charlie was sixteen years older than Renee, it didn’t matter. Renee decided to give up the ballet so they could start a family. Charlie tried to convince her to continue with her talent, but she wanted to be a full-time wife and mother. On a bright, clear autumn day Isabella Marie Swan was born to two enamored parents.

As soon as Bella began to walk, Renee began to work with her, perfecting each move, but also making it fun. It was always Bella’s decision if she wanted to continue her training, but there was no way she could stop; it was her heart and soul. Her hard work paid off when she was offered to be a Principal at the Kennedy Center Ballet, just like her mother. Her opening night, she stood in the wings, preparing herself mentally for the performance. After hours of practicing, sore muscles, and bloody toes from the slippers, she was now only moments away from showing the packed house her talent.

“Miss Swan, one minute to curtain,” the stage manager stated.

The orchestra began and the curtain rose, Bella stepped out and began the performance. Each move was graceful and precision, midway through the second act, Bella was in her arabesque penchée when she felt light headed and suddenly all went black and she fell to the stage.

Dr. Carlisle Cullen and his wife were in the audience for the performance. As soon as the young lady collapsed on the stage, Carlisle was to his feet and rushing to help.

“Sir, please return to your seat,” the guard told Carlisle. He wasn’t going to allow a crowd of people on the stage.

“I am a doctor,” Carlisle informed him.

Hearing that the man was a doctor, the guard stepped aside and allowed Carlisle up the steps. Carlisle rushed over to where several people were crowded around the young woman. He quickly stepped in and began taking her pulse and accessing her vitals the best he could. Damn, he wished he had his case from the trunk of his vehicle. Her pulse was weakening and her lips were turning blue. This was bad, very bad. “We need an ambulance, NOW!”

Suddenly, Carlisle could no longer feel a pulse and immediately started CPR. With each chest compression and breath, he prayed that she would respond. In the background, he could hear the cries of her parents. After what felt like an eternity, her heart began to beat again, even though it was still very faint and weak. The EMTs arrived, rushing on the stage with their equipment.

“Sir, we can take it from here,” one EMT said.

“I am Dr. Carlisle Cullen. This young woman needs to be airlifted to Johns Hopkins immediately.”

“But we can,” the EMT began.

Carlisle stood up and looked the guy straight in the eyes. “Listen to me, get me that medical transport and get it for me now. If you don’t, she will surely die and the blood will be on your hands.”

The guy finally got it, he wasn’t in charge, Dr. Cullen was in charge. He called for air support and assisted Dr. Cullen as he began an IV and began taking her vitals, this time with the instruments that he needed.

Carlisle didn’t know what was going on with the young woman’s heart, but he knew that it was serious. Looking up at the couple who was sobbing off to the side, he needed to get some answers. “Are you her parents?”

“Yes. What is wrong with her?” Charlie asked.

“I am not sure, does she or anyone in your family have a history of heart disease?”


“I am Dr. Carlisle Cullen, head of cardiology at Johns Hopkins Medical Center. We need to get her there as soon as possible, so I can run the test and find out what is going on.”

“Please do what you have to do, we can’t lose her,” Renee cried. “Our Bella is our life.”

“What is her full name and age?” Carlisle asked.

“Isabella Marie Swan and she just turned twenty-three. She is not allergic to anything that we know of and has always been a very healthy young woman,” Charlie said.

As the minutes ticked away, Carlisle continued his monitoring her vitals. He was pleased to see that the medivac had arrived quickly and was waiting to transport her to Johns Hopkins. “Mr. & Mrs. Swan, I am going to ride with her in the transport. I will see you when you get to the hospital.”

Bella was on the gurney, being wheeled off the stage as Carlisle followed close behind. As they rounded the corner, he saw Esme standing patiently. “Esme.”

“My darling, is she going to be alright?”

“I don’t know for sure. She is very sick and I must go with her. I’m sorry.”

“No, my love, you take care of her and just call me when you can,” Esme said.

Once they were loaded into the medical transport, it didn’t take them long to arrive at the hospital. Carlisle had already called ahead and had his team ready for them as soon as they landed. Bella was rushed to the hospital. Carlisle ran his tests and, in the end, the diagnosis was grim. Walking out of the examining room, he went to break the bad news to Mr. and Mrs. Swan. He found them in the waiting room, but what shocked him was that Esme was sitting with them. How did he ever deserve such an angel in his life? “Mr. & Mrs. Swan.”

“Dr. Cullen, how is she?” They asked together.

“Please sit down,” Carlisle said, knowing that they would need to after he told them the news. “After some extensive tests, I have determined that Bella has Dilated Cardiomyopathy.”

“What is that Dr. Cullen and what is the cure for it?” Charlie asked.

“It is a disease of the heart muscles. I am sorry but Bella’s heart can’t be repaired; her only hope is a transplant.”

Renee began to cry, her little girl was sick and there was nothing she could do to fix her. If she would be allowed to give her her heart, she would in a second. “How long does she have?”

“I believe we have a little time, but we must have her quiet and stress-free as possible,” Carlisle explained.

“Can we take her home?” Charlie asked.

“Maybe in a few weeks, but right now she needs to under constant monitoring. Right now, we have her sedated, but I want to bring her out soon. I think you should be with her when I tell her the news.” A little while later, when they were all in the room, Bella’s eyes began to flutter.

Bella fought to open her eyes and, finally, she did, however, instead of the stage lights, she was faced with the blaring light of a fluorescent light. Turning her head she saw he parents, who looked as if they had been crying and a man in a white coat. “Where am I?”

“You are at Johns Hopkins, sweetie,” Renee cooed.

“What happened?”

“Isabella, I am Dr. Cullen.”

“Damn, it must be bad if you are using my full name. Please call me Bella.”

Carlisle couldn’t help but chuckle. She was full of spunk, which meant that she was a fighter and that was needed. “Bella it is. I am not going to sugarcoat it, because I have a feeling that you wouldn’t want that. You have a serious heart disease and there is no cure for it, other than a heart transplant. I have already put you on the list.”

Bella was shocked by the news. How could this be? Just a few hours ago, she was dancing on stage and now she was being told that she had a bad heart. “How long will it take until I get a new heart?”

“I don’t know, but I promise you that we will do everything possible until we find one,” Carlisle declared.

Bella was finally released from the hospital and over the next two and half years, they did everything possible to keep her alive. Every time the phone would jump, they would think it was a call that a heart had been found. Bella knew that if she had any chance of life, that someone would have to die. The very thought of that was very sobering and she hoped that, if by some chance she was blessed with a heart, she made the donor proud.

The years ticked by, the months ticked by, the days ticked by, and with each passing moment, no heart was found. So here she was with only hours, maybe days to live. Bella had lost all hope that a heart would come in time. All the fight and determination was gone.

Carlisle came into Bella’s room to check on his favorite patient. If she had been better, he would have gone to New York to witness the birth of his first grandchild and possibly repair the relationship with his son, Edward. Walking in, he found Charlie and Renee asleep in their chairs. Looking at Bella’s face he saw the look that he hoped he would never see, the look of defeat.

“Bella, please, you must not lose hope,” he implored.

“I’m tired of fighting,” she whispered, her voice weak and shaky.

“You just need to hold on, please don’t give up.”

“Carlisle, make sure they know that I loved them and was so happy to have such great loving parents.”

Suddenly, Carlisle’s cell phone went off. “Dr. Cullen.”

Then, the news that he and Swans had been waiting and praying for, a heart that was a perfect match was available and would be here in a few hours.

“Bella, hold on, there is a heart and it will here in a few hours,” Carlisle said, with a huge smile on his face.


“Yes, now you hang on, while I get everything set up for the surgery.”

Carlisle left her room feeling lighter than he had in months. Going to the nurse’s station, he informed them that a heart match had been found and to call the team in for the surgery. He was headed to the operating suite to mentally prepare for the surgery when his phone rang again. Looking at the screen, he saw it was his lovely wife.

“Hello, my love, are we grandparents yet?”

“Yes. A little girl,” Esme said, with a broken voice. “But.”

“Oh, how wonderful. I can’t wait to meet her, but I have wonderful news as well. I just,” Carlisle said but was interrupted by Esme.

“Carlisle, something terrible has happened.”

“Is the little one okay?”


“Please tell me that Edward is okay,” Carlisle pleaded.

“It is Maggie. Oh, Carlisle, something happened after the delivery and she died.”

Carlisle almost dropped his phone, his sweet daughter-in-law was dead; how was his son going to survive?

In a Heartbeat ~ Chapter One

Summary:  In a heartbeat, Edward’s life changed. What was supposed to be the joyful, life-changing experience, the birth of their daughter, turned into a nightmare. The love of his life, lifeless on the delivery table, as he held his daughter in his arms. The gift of organ donation was always his wife’s desire. Bella was in the critical care unit at John Hopkins, praying for a heart transplant. What happens when years later Edward moves back home to Baltimore and enrolls his daughter in a dance class? Will the beauty in pink tights capture his heart? But what happens when he learns her secret?

“Dr. Cullen, page 223, Dr. Cullen 223,” the voice over the loud system boomed.  Coming alive after his quick nap, Edward stretched his long arms about his head and twisted his torso, getting the blood flowing.  After rubbing the sleep from his eyes, he took out his phone and returned the page.

“This is Dr. Cullen,” Edward said, wondering what the emergency was this time.

“Dr. Cullen, I have a message from Mrs. Cullen, who has been trying to get you on your cell phone.”

Edward looked down at his phone and noticed that he, in fact, had missed five calls from Maggie.  “What is the message?”

“She said that she is in the taxi and will meet you on the second floor.”

“Second floor?”  Edward asked, wondering why she was going to the second floor because she knew his office was on the first floor.

“Dr. Cullen, the second floor is labor and delivery,” the operator answered, trying not to chuckle.

“HOT SHIT, IT’S TIME!”  Edward yelled, standing up quickly and doing so knocking over the chair.  “Thank you.”

He hung up with the operator and quickly headed toward the second-floor labor and delivery wing.  As he rushed towards Maggie, he couldn’t help but think how he got here.

He was born in Baltimore, Maryland to Dr. Carlisle and Esme Cullen, well, his father wasn’t a doctor at that point.  Carlisle and Esme had met at a sophomore mixer and fell head over heels in love with each other, so much so, that they got married between their sophomore and junior year of college.   Both came from wealthy families and even though they were concerned, they embraced the young love of the couple.

Esme was studying English Lit, while Carlisle was pre-med, just like his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather before him.  There was a long line of doctors in Carlisle’s family.  Carlisle had decided early on he wanted to be a heart surgeon and was prepared to spend the next sixteen years in college, med school, and residence to do so.  After graduation, Carlisle got accepted in the Maryland School of Medicine and they settled down in a house near the school.  During Carlisle’s first year in med school, Esme had Edward and, two years later, had his twin brothers, Jasper and Emmett.

While his father studied and worked long hours to become a doctor, Esme had to be both mother and father.  Edward tried not to get his feelings hurt when his father didn’t make any of his baseball games or wasn’t there when he needed the advice that only a father could give, but it still hurt.  After seeing the same hurt on his brothers’ faces after their father had missed some of the significant events, the sadness in his mother’s eyes when he didn’t show up for planned dates or anniversaries, Edward decided that, since he had also decided to become a heart surgeon, he wouldn’t marry or have children.  He would pour all his passion into his work.

While Edward went to NYU to get his degree and training, his brothers decided to stay in Maryland and go to school.  Jasper had decided on becoming a pediatrician because he was a kid at heart and, since Emmett loved tits, he decided to become a plastic surgeon.

After studying his ass off and spending long hours training, he finally became the one of the top thoracic surgeons in the country, pioneering a new technique for heart valve replacement.  He had received offers from every prestigious hospital in the nation, even Johns Hopkins, where his father was head of vascular surgery. As much as he would have loved to work there, he just couldn’t work this close to his father.  He accepted the offer at Mt. Sinai in New York, where he had lived for the last 16 years and considered it his home.

After purchasing a brownstone on the Lower West Side, he had it professionally decorated and laid the designer and got twenty percent off the price.  He was, after, all a man with carnal needs that only a hot, tight pussy would satisfy.  Over the years he bedded many women, but never more than once.  He didn’t want any woman getting the idea that he wanted anything more than sex, but several tried over the years.   Edward was steadfast in his conviction that he would allow no woman to take hold of his heart, however, that all changed one spring morning on the water ferry.

He had just finished up an emergency surgery in the wee hours of the morning and stayed until the patient was stable and awake.  Changing into his suit, he headed out to the water ferry to go home.  It was stupid to own a vehicle in city and the only way to get around was public transit.  His favorite was the ferry because it reminded him of home and his childhood next to the water.  Due to the overnight storms, the water was choppy and rocked the ferry back and forth.  Edward was sitting alone on a bench; the boat pitched suddenly a woman landed on his lap.  She grasped his arm trying to steady herself and looked up through her long, curly red hair and gasped.  ‘HOLY SHIT, HE IS BEYOND HANDSOME,’ she thought.

“Sorry,” she whispered.

Edward looked down at the woman and something happened, he felt a warm feeling pulsing through his body.  She had to be the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, with lush red hair and sparkling green eyes.  “Are you okay?”

“Yes,” she whispered.

He didn’t know what came over him, but he reached forward and cupped her cheek in his hand.  Time seemed to stop; he didn’t care about anything other than getting to know everything about this woman and that is what he did.  They spent every moment together if they weren’t working.

Maggie was an owner of a small bookstore and had published seven romance novels.  She was born in Ireland to an American mother and Irish father.  They wanted her to stay in Ireland and go to school. However, she wanted to see what America held for her.

By the end of the month, they were living together and three weeks later they were standing before the judge, pledging themselves to each other until death did they part.

Edward had never been as happy as he was whenever he was in the same room with Maggie.

The months passed and their love grew more each day, so much so that she became pregnant with their first child.  Edward would spend hours talking to her belly, telling their unborn child all the great adventures ahead.  As he left their home this morning, he made her promise to call at the first sign of labor.  So here he was running through the hospital to get to his lovely Maggie and to support her as she brought their precious little one into this world.

Reaching the maternity floor, he was out of breath and he rushed to the nurses’ station.

“I am having a baby,” he said.

The nurses couldn’t help but chuckle a little bit.  Here was the great Dr. Edward Cullen, the epitome of professionalism, sweaty and flustered.   “Mrs. Cullen has arrived and is suite 202.”

“Yeah, thanks,” he said as he turned toward the hallway.

“Dr. Cullen, it’s that way,” one the nurse said, pointing the opposite direction than he was going.

Edward spun around and rushed down the hall and quickly found the room, opening the door he saw the woman who held his heart and soul, laying on the bed panting through a contraction.  Coming to her side, taking her hand, Edward places a kiss on her forehead.  “I am so sorry I didn’t hear your call,” Edward pleaded.

Blowing out her last cleansing breath, she smiled.  “You fell asleep in the doctor’s lounge again.”

“You know me so well.  How are you doing?”

“We are good.  Dr. Johnson said that I am doing great and already at seven centimeters.”


“Yes,”  Maggie said.

“Do you need anything?”  He asked, wanting to help in some way.  He hated the idea that Maggie was in pain.

“No.  I called mathair agus athair and they will be here on the first flight in the morning,” Maggie said but concerned what Edward would say to her next question.  She was extremely close to her parents and it saddened her that Edward wasn’t, but she hoped he has changed his mind.  “Have you called your parents?”

Edward just shook his head.

“Why not?  They are about to become grandparents,” Maggie asked.

“You know why,” Edward grumbled.

“Edward, they need to know, so, if you won’t call them, I will,” Maggie commanded.

Looking into those emerald green eyes, always full of love, however now they were full of determination.  “Fine.”

Edward decided he would call his mother’s cell because he was afraid that his father would answer the house phone.  With each ring, his heart rate increased and his breathing became labored.

Esme had just come in the house from working on the flower garden when she heard her cell phone ring and picking it up she almost dropped it, when she saw it was Edward calling.  She had not talked to him since the day he called to that he had gotten married.  After she hung up from the call, she broke down in tears and that is how Carlisle found her hours later.  When he finally got her to calm down, she told him what happened.  Carlisle wished he could mend his relationship with his oldest son, but he didn’t know how.  He knew it was his fault for not being a better father when Edward was growing up.  Jasper and Emmett had rebuilt their relationship with him, but with Edward living in New York, it was almost impossible to show him that he had changed.  Now that he was the head of the department, he could spend more time at home and less time at work, even though it was too late to see his children grow up and experience all their life’s firsts.

“Edward?”  Esme asked.

“Hi, Mom,”  He answered.

“How are you and Maggie?”

“We are really good and that is the reason I am calling.  Maggie is in labor.”

Esme gasped.  Her little boy was going to be a father and she just found out.  “Oh Edward, that is wonderful.”

“Yeah, we are very happy about it.”

“Can I come to New York?”  She asked.

Edward really wanted to share this with his mom, but he didn’t want him here.  “Yes, but not him.”

“Sure, he actually is at the hospital with a patient anyways.”

“Same damn M.O,”  Edward growled.

“Edward he has changed.  Look, maybe when I get up there we can talk about it.”

“Maybe.  We are at Mt. Sinai, but I don’t know how long this is going to take,”  Edward said, looking over at Maggie who had a huge smile on her face.

“I will take the first available flight.”

“Great mom, see you when you get here.”

Edward hung up and leaned down, kissed Maggie on the lips.  “Thanks for pushing me.”


Over the next several hours, Maggie endured her labor like a trooper and when she wasn’t in pain, they would talk and even watch some shows.

“Edward, I had no idea that people still have a negative view of organ donation.  I mean it is not like their organs are going to do them any good when they are dead,”  Maggie said.

“Unfortunately, you are right.  So many people are on the waiting list for an organ and die because they never receive it.”

“Well, God forbid anything should happen to me, but I want you to promise me that you will ensure that my organs are donated,” Maggie pleaded.

Edward couldn’t think of a world that his Maggie wasn’t part of, but he would do it, even though he hoped he was the first to go.  “I promise, but no more talk of death, let us talk about this little one.”

Hours later, Maggie was ready to start pushing.  Esme had arrived and was in the waiting room, keeping Carlisle up to date with the progress.

“Come on Maggie, one more big push,”  Dr. Johnson instructed.

Maggie pulled herself up, with Edward supporting her back and even though she was exhausted gave the biggest push yet, then she heard the sweetest sound in the world, the cry of her baby.

“It is a girl,” Dr. Johnson declared.  “Dr. Cullen, would you like to cut the cord?”

“Yes,” he exclaimed.

Once he had, they brought the little girl up and laid her on Maggie’s chest.

Maggie overcome with emotions, here was a new life, created out of love.  “Edward, she is so perfect,” she cried.

“Oh Maggie, she is and I love you both so much.”

The nurse walked over.  “I need to check her out, but I promise to bring her back.”

Maggie and Edward watched as the nurse took her to the table and began to check her over.  They swaddle her up and place a pink hat on her head.  When the nurse walked back, she began to hand her to Maggie, but she shook her head.  “Miss Elizabeth Marie needs some daddy time.”  The nurse smiled and laid her in Edward’s awaiting arms.

Edward had only limited experience in holding a baby, but holding Elizabeth in his arms felt so natural.  “She has your eyes,” he told Maggie.

“She has your nose and chin,” Maggie said.  “Why don’t you take her out to meet her grandmother?”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.  We have a lifetime to spend with her.”

Edward brought Elizabeth down closer to Maggie and she placed a sweet kiss on her forehead.  “I love you so much Elizabeth.”

“And we love you,” Edward replied.  “We will be right back.”

Edward walked out the room to find Esme, who was waiting for him.  “Mom, I would like to meet Elizabeth Marie Cullen.”

“Oh Edward, she is lovely.  How is Maggie?”

“She is doing great.  I am so in awe of her; she is so strong,” Edward bragged.

“CODE BLUE ROOM 202, CODE BLUE ROOM 202,” the voice over the loudspeaker sounded.

Edward head whipped around and saw the crash cart pushed into Maggie’s room.  Running back toward the room still holding Elizabeth in his arms, he pushed open the door to see Dr. Johnson doing chest compression and barking out orders.  “What is happening?”  Edward yelled, causing Elizabeth to start crying.

“Get out of here Dr. Cullen!” Dr. Johnson barked.

“I will not, that is my wife.”


Two nurses got in front of him and ushered him out the door.  They motioned for security to come and stand guard.  “You stay here and take care of her; we will keep you up to date when we get some information.”

Esme came over and helped Edward to a chair close to the door.  “What is going on?”  She asked.

“Her heart has stopped,” he whispered, his voice so heavy with worry.  Elizabeth was still crying, almost knowing that something was wrong with her mother.  “Shh little one.”

As the minutes ticketed by, it felt like an eternity, however, Elizabeth finally stopped crying and was back to sleep.  Dr. Johnson came out of the room and over to where Edward was sitting, stilling holding his daughter.  She had only had to do something like this a few times, but each time was shear agony.

“Dr. Cullen?”

“Dr. Johnson, how is she?”

“Dr. Cullen, I am sorry but I have some horrible news.  Maggie has suffered an Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage.  I believe she had a weak blood vessel in her brain and the stress of childbirth cause it to burst.”

“What is being done?”  Edward questioned.

“She is on life support, but there is no brain function.”

Edward felt as if a train had run over him.  “Are you sure?”

“Yes.  Do you know if your wife wanted to be an organ donor?”  Dr. Johnson asked.

How could this be?  She was fine and smiling, just a little bit ago and now she was being kept alive by a machine.  How was he going to survive without Maggie?  What was he going to tell Elizabeth when she got old enough to ask about how her mother died?  How could he be both a mother and father to her?  He could keep Maggie on life support, but his doctor’s brain yelled that it would only deteriorate her organs.  Pushing through the pain and heartache, he knew what he had to do.

“Yes, she is a donor.  Please make the arrangements, while we go say our goodbyes.”