Medical Alert

Ezra Azra


© Copyright 2023 by Ezra Azra

Photo by <a href="">Rogério Toledo</a> on <a href="">Unsplash</a>

by Cole Keister:

Photo by Rogério Toledo on UnsplashPhoto

by Cole Keister:


by 100 files:

 Hello. Police?

Yes. How can we be of help?

I am Elizabeth Sneddon. I am a hiker. I am at Essenwood Mountain Point. I have found on the ground a half-empty backpack. Some of its contents are scattered about. There is nobody else around. There is a name tag on the backpack, Yvonne McBride.

An address? A phone number?

Nothing else. I have heard a phone ringing from somewhere far down the hill in the forest. There is a wind picking up, and the weather forecast is for heavy snow beginning at any moment. Daylight is fading fast. I am a professional mountain climber. I will be going down to find that phone, or its owner.

We will be there in about thirty minutes. Can you take the backpack a few steps down into the forest and leave it on a branch when you go farther down? We will pick it up if you are still down there.


Do not hang up. We are keeping this line open. Good luck. Go, Elizabeth.

A few minutes later.

I see a fully clothed body stuck in a tree.

Do not touch it.

I cannot touch it. It is out of reach.

Get as close as you can to see their face.

I will try.

Seconds pass.

Okay. I am here. Within reach. The body is fully and heavily clothed. Tuque and hood. I hear the phone ringing, on and off. Someone is trying to connect. The phone is not on the body. It’s somewhere farther down the hill. I cannot see their face. It's still out of reach. I cannot tell if it's female or male. Night has fallen down here in the forest. I am inching closer.

Seconds later.

Hey! Good, you are not dead. Say something. Your name? Go on. I can hear you. I am here to help you. You fell down the slope at Essenwood mountain point. Keep talking. Do not try to move. We have to find out just how stuck you are. Police, are you hearing all this?

Yes, Elizabeth. Good work. We are near.

All right. You are facing downward. I cannot see your face. Try telling me your name. The police are on the way.

Yvonne. My name. Yvonne.

Good, Yvonne. This is good. I saw that on the name tag on the backpack. Police, she is Yvonne McBride. She says her name is Yvonne McBride.

Good. We have it. We have started the online search. We are minutes away. Elizabeth, keep talking to Yvonne. Keep her awake.

Okay. Yvonne, the police will be here any minute. I am Elizabeth. Is there any pain?

No, Elizabeth. I cannot feel any part of me.

That is okay, Yvonne. Every part of you is covered in tree branches. The branches protected you in your fall.
I am a professional mountain climber, Yvonne. This is a favorite place of mine because of the monkeys here.

You’re being funny, Elizabeth. You are making me laugh. It hurts.

Yvonne, I am not being funny. There are monkeys around here. We named them snow monkeys. They appear when there is snow. You will hear them coming if you are still here when the snow starts falling. Any minute now.

Friendly? The monkeys? Elizabeth?

I don’t know. I have never engaged them. I just watch from the ground. They do get rambunctious with one another up in these trees. Snow flies around. Actually, Yvonne, if we are still here when those monkeys get here, I think they will not come to this tree, because, luckily, for us, it is not a goola-goola tree. Do not laugh, Yvonne. That is a real tree-name. Goola-goola. Its fruit is a favorite with monkeys. Small as tennis balls, and as hard as coconuts. Sweet insides like gooey large jelly beans. You and I can return someday and feast on goola-goolas. Sounds good? Yvonne?

Sounds good.

Good. Sometimes when I am sure there are no monkeys around, I have climbed down to find goola-goolas on the ground. The other good thing this is not a goola-goola tree, Yvonne, is because a goola-goola tree has thorns; thorns as hard as metal needles.

Good thing. Yes.

Let me check with the police, Yvonne. Police?

Seconds away, Elizabeth. We have Essenwood in sight.

Good. Police are here, Yvonne.

It was not a fall, Elizabeth. I did not fall.

Say again, Yvonne. You did not fall?

No. My Dad and Mom were fighting each other. I tried to stop them. I got accidentally bumped.

Yvonne, please, do not tell me any more. Tell the police, Yvonne. Let's the two of us here concentrate on getting you safely out of here. The police will have equipment to cut you free. In the meantime, let's talk about other things. I am a professional mountain climber.

You told me that.

You remember? That’s a very good sign, Yvonne. I am glad. By the way,
I found your backpack by accident. Your phone is somewhere farther down. I hear it ringing, from time to time.

It is not my phone, Elizabeth. I have been hearing it. I do not have a phone. I like to hike.

Me, too, Yvonne. I climb mountains.

Have you been to Essenwood before?

Yes. Not this far down, though.

That is funny, Yvonne.

Laughing is hurting.

It is good you can laugh. When you fell after being bumped, did your Dad and Mom call after you?

I think they tried. I heard them fall after I did.

I have to alert the police, Yvonne. They are going to have to bring more equipment. Police? It's me, Elizabeth. Yvonne is talking. No pain, so far. She is keeping still. The phone that rings now and then is not her phone. She does not have a phone. She says her Dad and Mom probably fell down after her.

Elizabeth, we are seconds away. We have tracked Yvonne's name. We are eighty percent certain that the information we have is your Yvonne McBride. That ringing you have been hearing is probably not a phone; probably a medical alert monitor. Patients are given it when they need to take medications. It activates when it registers that a patient has not taken the scheduled medication. Check with your Yvonne if she is on scheduled medication.

All right.

And, Elizabeth?


Go about it carefully.

I understand. Yvonne, are you on medication you need to take?

I do not remember. Right now, I won't know because every part of me is so tightly trussed together.

All right. If you remember, let me know. The police will be here within seconds.

I am so thirsty.

Here. A lozenge. I do not have water. I see search lights! The police are here, Yvonne! I can hear them coming down. Hey, officer. I am Elizabeth.

Good job, Elizabeth. We will take over from here. One of us will take you up. The wind is vicious. The snow is beginning.

Yvonne, I will see you soon.

Thank you, Elizabeth.

Elizabeth Sneddon, this way. I'm officer Roger Orton. Please come to the Ambulance to be checked out. You have done a fantastic job in a high-stress situation.

Thank you. How long before they will bring Yvonne up?

Seconds. Long seconds.

Can I wait to speak with her?

You won't be able to speak with her, Elizabeth. See the medical helicopter there, lifting off?


They radioed me they are lifting off because the crew down the hill with Yvonne has signaled they have secured her in their harness. The helicopter is hauling her up. The moment the harness clears the tree tops, the helicopter will leave to take her to hospital. Her condition is serious because she has been without her medication for so long. Phone the Police office at any time for where we will be taking her.

Thank you. I will. Is there a search for her parents?

Not tonight, with all this snow. But, definitely. In the meantime, thank you for stashing that backpack evidence in a tree. Do you want to know the preliminary forensic evidence in those scattered pieces of evidence?

Of course, officer.

There was a struggle that left traces of blood and other human factors. A weapon of some sort was involved.

A weapon? 

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