Transferring

Under the knife, the body lays on the table as restful as if it were dead.  Prior to surgery, you’re told to intake less food, drink lots of water and get plenty of rest.  For this operation though, it wasn’t necessary.  With the nurses and a surgeon filing into the room, the sound of the fiber from their foot covers grazing across the glossy, reflective floor tingles the inner ear.  With the last snap of a latex glove covering the hand of a nurse, the head surgeon nods his head for setup.

Each scalpel, knife, syringe and other miscellaneous tools for surgery are prepared, each delicately placed on a cloth on top of a metal plate.  With the patient hooked up to the heart monitor and various IV’s protruding out of the body like roots of a tree breaking the surface of the ground, the first incision is made.  The cut spanning horizontal along the bottom of the cranium, perpendicular to the spinal cord, and its linearity is striking.  With the first droplets of blood breaking the surface of the skin, a nurse pats the wound with a cloth and presses to slow the blood flow.  A few minutes pass before the next surgical move is made.  With the platelets building up and stopping the bleeding, the surgeon reaches for a pair of scissors to make a cut not visible from afar.  However, the sound exiting the wound is audible for anyone in the whole room to hear – not pleasant.  With a few more lacerations made around the head, the operation is about to begin.

A cadaver is wheeled in and is momentarily placed along a bare wall.  Replacing the used instruments, nurses replenish the metal plate with new ones.  The surgeon instructs the team now to switch out the bodies.  Shuffling their feet, the live patient is wheeled to another wall with the monitor and the cadaver is now in the center of the headlight.  Performing the same incisions on the cadaver, the cadaver is now ready for the second step of the process.  A saw is lifted from a counter on the side and is wielded by the surgeon.  Drilling into the plates of the cranium, the brain is extracted. Returning the patient under the headlight, the same operation is performed however, the brain is linked to a device to run blood throughout its arteries.  With the final process of the surgery on deck, the surgeon and his nurses prepare the tools for the final step.

Pushing the cadaver back into the center of the room, with the back facing the ceiling, the nurses try to insert the brain into the cadaver.  

“Holy shit, how are we supposed to do this?”, a nurse questions.  

“Well let’s hope those four years of damn residency taught you something”, the surgeon fires back.  

The scene looks like the gang of kids in The Sandlot, when their last ball flew over ‘the fence’, with them trying to reach through it to get their baseball back but their hands are just too big to fit through the gap.

With the assistance of three nurses, the brain is securely placed inside the head of the cadaver.  Connecting the stem of the brain to the spinal cord, fusing the arteries and veins where they need to be and flushing blood throughout the brain, it’s time to fix the plate of the head back into place and place the skin back over.  With the nurse grasping the plate of the head, the insertion looks like she’s placing the last piece of a big block jigsaw puzzle.  A few cuss words here and some screws and pins there, the plate was securely fastened back on the skull.

Uncertainty permeates the room.  With the cadaver just passing hours before the operation, the chances of resuscitating the heartbeat is slim.  Taking a small break to allow the neurons of the brain to interact with the new host of the brain, the medical team sit down on a small bench in the corner of the room.  A LED light begins to flicker slightly making a slight flickering noise but could drive one to insanity.  With the break over, a nurse obtains a defibrillator and begins to warm it up.  With the charge at 100%, she yelps “Clear!”, and pressing the chest of the cadaver, the defibrillator shocks the body, levitating it off the table higher than a Jenga tower.  With the max wattage being imposed onto the cadaver, the recharge time of the defibrillator is lengthy.  A sound produced from the defibrillator signifying the shock is ready, another attempt of resurrection is made.  With a heart rate monitor linked to the body, it jumps once again with a slight beat of the heart.  

“One more time and he’s back”, the surgeon states.  

With the final charge ready to go and one last “Clear!” yelled, the charge is placed on the body and lifts the body higher than the previous two attempts.  

Gasping for air and trying to grab something to hold on, the body comes alive with confusion and disarray, the whole medical team shrieks of surprise and agony.  With a few moments of pure shock among everyone, the surgeon greets the man and explains what has occurred.  

“You had gone into cardiac arrest and with an incoming cadaver with almost an exact genetic makeup as you, we couldn’t pass the opportunity to attempt this scientific breakthrough”.  

Frantically peering down at his hand and touching his face, the man asks for a moment in peace.  Instructed not to stand up and walk around, he disregards the commands as anyone would with the curiosity of a brain transplant.  The motor skills between the muscles and the brain have yet to be trained and rehabilitated but the man stumbles around as an infant taking their first steps and stumbles to the sink and mirror in the room.  Peering into the mirror the man is thrown straight back once he sees his “new” image.  His face has the same structure, his hair is still midnight black, his eye’s are still grass green but one key difference sends a massive guilt rush throughout his body.  The scar under his left eye is the exact scar he gave his twin brother in 4th grade from baseball.

Nurses rush in helping the man back to his feet and into his bed.  Screeching and weeping, the man is at a loss of words for what has happened.  A nurse pops up from behind the man and issues a shot to calm the man down.  A few seconds later, the head surgeon walks in to discuss what has happened and why he now lives in his brother’s skin.  

“Your brother was the one who brought you to the hospital.  However, with stress building up, it got to a point which caused a stroke and unfortunately took your brothers life”.  “With the perfect opportunity to remove his brain and replace his with yours, we thought we would attempt to give you a second chance”.    

Darkness began to seep into the man’s vision and his whole body went numb.  With sounds being distorted, the only one he could pick out was the final cries of his brother before they both passed.