By Nancy Jasin Ensley
It started suddenly. Ed felt a pain in his chest that seemed to suck the breath from him. He straightened sharply and his arms pulled away from the caressing of Mary and Helen. His hands clutched the front of his soot covered jacket and the color drained from his face. The look of terror in his eyes was one that Mary would never be able to erase. The cough began explosively and he turned away from the bed stumbling toward the door of the hospital room. Mary almost pulled the call light from the wall as she cradled Helen and attempted to get out of bed. Her legs felt like they weighed fifty pounds and the room began to spin as she tried to stand. Her cough had changed to a gurgling sound and she could see blood spattering on the door as she screamed for help.