J.W. LYNNE
AUTHOR OF UNIQUE STORIES WITH TWISTS, TURNS, AND SURPRISES
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Kid Docs
A fascinating novel for anyone who wants to know what it's like to be a doctor
"Intriguing. Incredibly engaging. I highly recommend this book. It's definitely a read you won't forget." - Amy, Goodreads ★★★★★


Fourteen-year-old Connor Hansen became a doctor two days ago--along with all of his friends. They are child prodigies who were selected at just three years old to undergo intensive medical training as part of an experiment called Kid Docs.

KID DOCS tells the story of fourteen-year-old Connor Hansen's first days as an emergency room doctor. Connor experiences his first pangs of love (toward fifteen-year-old obstetrician, Cassie), deals with his explosive older brother (a sixteen-year-old heart surgeon), and tries to figure out why his friendship with fourteen-year-old fellow ER doctor Hannah has suddenly changed. At the same time, Connor learns to save lives and discovers that some lives cannot be saved.


CYBILS AWARDS NOMINEE!

KID DOCS is a coming-of-age novel perfect for girls and boys ages eleven and up. If you're looking for gifts for preteens, teens, and adults who are curious about what it's like to be a doctor, this must-read makes a great gift! The book will appeal to readers who enjoy novels similar to best sellers like ENDER'S GAME (by Orson Scott Card), WONDER (by R.J. Palacio), or SPY SCHOOL (by Stuart Gibbs), and to fans of television shows like THE GOOD DOCTOR, GREY'S ANATOMY, ER, DOOGIE HOWSER, M.D., and Disney's DOOGIE KAMEALOHA, M.D.

What kids and adults are saying about KID DOCS:

"Five stars. Amazing! I am actually speechless because it was so good. I would read it over again. I recommend this book to anyone." - Shelby, Goodreads

"Loved every little bit of it! Couldn't stop reading!" - Adam, Goodreads

"I'm ready for more! A five star book EASY!" - Pepper, Goodreads

"This was one of the only books I found that was age appropriate for my middle school children to cultivate their interests in the field of medicine. A great starting point for conversations about the work of a doctor and to engage children in discussions about the medical profession" - Nick, Amazon

"The hospital setting was rich and accurate, with enough medical details to pique the curiosity of kids who might be so inclined, or to feed the fascination of adults who like to watch medical shows. I always appreciate dramatic suspense in a novel, and this one had it. Plenty of plot points kept me reading: finding out how the kid docs will react to the pressure, the fate of the patients who come into the hospital, and even the fate of one of their own." - Jennifer Donovan, 5 Minutes for Books

Don't miss this chance to slip behind the scenes into a world that few people can ever experience first-hand, the life of a physician in training!

KID DOCS is available in Kindle ebook and in paperback.

Kindle Unlimited members: Read the KID DOCS ebook for FREE.


 

Kid Docs

Chapter One

Fourteen-year-old Connor Hansen raced at full speed through the shiny, sterile emergency room hallways of Westley Hospital. He was excited … and terrified. He was about to do what he had been training for almost his entire life. But if he failed, someone would die. Paramedics rushed toward him, pushing a bright‑yellow gurney that carried a bloodied, lifeless man whose heart had stopped beating. It was Connor’s job to get the man’s heart started again. Connor was a doctor.

One of the paramedics pushed down on the patient’s chest with both hands, again and again, attempting to pump blood through the man’s body. The other paramedic occasionally squeezed a balloon‑like breathing bag, filling the man’s lungs with oxygen.

As he ran up to the paramedics, Connor quietly took an uncertain breath and asked the question he’d been taught to ask, “What have we got?”

One of the paramedics responded with an answer that sounded like gibberish, “Forty-two-year-old male status post MVA. In v-fib at the scene. Converted to sinus rhythm after defibrillation. Went back into v-fib when we were pulling up to your door.”

Connor understood every word.

His patient had been in a car accident. When the paramedics arrived at the scene of the accident, the man’s heart was quivering helplessly, unable to pump blood to his body. The paramedics had sent a powerful jolt of electricity through the man’s chest that made his heart start beating again. But moments ago, in the ambulance, the heart had begun quivering again. The man’s heart was dying. Connor couldn’t let that happen.

The paramedics slid the man onto the skinny, padded table in the center of Trauma Room One. Connor took his place on the stepstool that was waiting for him. Although he was about to do a man’s job, he didn’t feel like a man. He didn’t look much like a man either. His muscles were still small and undeveloped, and he had only recently started his growth spurt.

Connor shouted out instructions to the doctors and nurses surrounding the table: blood and urine tests to perform, x-ray pictures to take. But that was where the easy part of his job ended. Now Connor had to get this man’s heart beating again. Every minute that passed made success less and less likely.

Connor had become a doctor just two days ago—along with all of his friends. They were hand‑selected at just three years old to undergo intensive medical training as part of a controversial experiment, called Kid Docs. In the past few years, the Kid Docs program had produced some of the best doctors in the entire country, if not the world. They had some of the lowest complication rates and the highest success rates, and they had developed innovative new procedures that saved lives that were previously unsalvageable. Connor hoped that he would be among the best doctors in the world someday. But right now, he was focused on only a single thing: saving this one man’s life.

As the paramedics ran toward the door with their empty gurney, Connor asked them, “What’s the patient’s name?”

“Peterson,” one of the paramedics responded. “Eric Peterson.”

Hearing that name made an awful feeling rise in Connor’s chest. His gaze fell to his patient’s bruised face, and then his gut twisted in horror. His hands became even sweatier inside his rubber gloves than they had been before.

He knew this man.

Connor tried to focus. He listened to Mr. Peterson’s lungs as Brandon—a plump, olive-skinned medical student who was two years younger than Connor—squeezed the breathing bag attached to the mask that was pressed against Mr. Peterson’s face. Connor touched his fingers to Mr. Peterson’s neck where he felt blood pulsing through an artery whenever Hannah—an ER doctor who was the same age as Connor—pumped blood through Mr. Peterson’s body by bearing down on his chest with her hands, over and over, using all of the force she could muster.

“Hold CPR for a rhythm check,” Connor ordered his team.

Hannah immediately followed Connor’s instructions, lifting her hands from Mr. Peterson’s chest. Brandon removed the mask from Mr. Peterson’s face and looked wide-eyed at Connor, awaiting further instructions. Connor avoided Brandon’s searching eyes. When he was Brandon’s age, Connor thought ER doctors were extremely mature and confident. Now that he was an ER doctor himself, he didn’t feel mature or confident at all, but it was his responsibility to make his team feel that they were in capable hands.

Connor placed his fingers back on Mr. Peterson’s neck. Since Hannah was no longer pressing on their patient’s chest, Connor no longer felt the reassuring pulsing of blood. His fingers detected no signs of life at all. The heart monitor connected to his patient showed a wild zigzagging line; Mr. Peterson’s heart was still quivering rather than beating.

Connor’s body tensed with concern. “V-fib. Resume CPR.”

Hannah began rhythmically pushing on Mr. Peterson’s chest again, her forehead wrinkled with exertion as she desperately tried to pump blood through their patient’s dying body.

Connor ordered the defibrillator machine to be readied, “Charge to two hundred.” He was going to send a jolt of electricity through Mr. Peterson’s body, just like the paramedics had done. He didn’t know if this would start the heart beating again, but it might. Connor involuntarily held his breath. He hoped this would work. He needed this to work. Mr. Peterson was running out of time.

“Charging,” Nurse Samantha said. She was one of the few adults on Connor’s team. She towered over the doctors and medical students, even though the doctors and medical students stood on stepstools. Her long brown hair was woven into two neat braids that fell down her back. She always wore her hair that way. It made her look like a grown-up-sized kid. Of all the nurses in the ER, Nurse Samantha was one of Connor’s favorites. She treated him with the kind of respect that most adults only show to other adults.

Nurse Samantha stood beside the defibrillator that sat atop the fire‑engine‑red medical supply cart next to Mr. Peterson’s bed. The defibrillator was emitting a long, loud, high-pitched, awful sound. Connor grabbed its paddles, and Nurse Samantha squirted some special green jelly onto them. Then Connor pressed their cold metal plates against Mr. Peterson’s bare chest.

“Clear,” Connor shouted, making his voice sound strong and steady, the exact opposite of what he was feeling inside. He pushed red buttons that had lightning‑bolt symbols on them, releasing the shock.

Mr. Peterson’s body jerked, as if he were a life-sized rag‑doll shook by an invisible giant. The line on the heart monitor shot up and then down … and then it started zigzagging again.

The shock hadn’t worked.

Everyone sprang back into action. Except Connor. He just stared at his patient, feeling hot and numb. He couldn’t think straight.

“Connor?” Hannah whispered.

Connor wondered whether she could tell that he was freaking out. He figured she probably could; Hannah and Connor had been best friends for so long that sometimes it seemed as if they were able to read each other’s minds.

Examine your patient, he could almost hear Hannah say inside his head as she stared at him with tough, determined eyes.

Connor did as she “told him” and checked Mr. Peterson’s belly, gently pressing against it with his trembling fingertips; it was rock hard.

“Abdomen’s rigid,” Connor reported. “He’s bleeding internally. We’re gonna need lots of blood?” He glanced around the room taking in the controlled chaos of nurses and doctors, all performing their tasks. “Shouldn’t trauma surgery be here by now?” he asked.

“Surgery’s on their way,” Nurse Samantha said, hanging a bulging bag of red-purple blood on an IV pole.

Connor moved his attention down to his patient’s splinted legs. Both thighs were swollen and misshapen. He didn’t need an x-ray to know that Mr. Peterson’s thighbones were broken; it takes a lot of force to break a femur.

Connor’s head felt foggy again. What if Mr. Peterson is too injured to survive? Connor’s heart pounded furiously against his ribcage. No! he told himself, pushing the negative thoughts from his brain. Mr. Peterson is going to be fine. He has to be.

“I’m gonna intubate,” Connor shouted over the voices of the other medical personnel. He kicked his stepstool closer to the head of the table and grabbed a laryngoscope—a metal flashlight with a long silver blade protruding from one end. Connor slid the laryngoscope blade deep into Mr. Peterson’s mouth. Muscling the patient’s heavy tongue and jaw out of his way, Connor slipped the tip of the blade all the way down into the man’s throat. Nurse Samantha placed a plastic breathing tube in Connor’s other hand. Carefully, he threaded the tube between vocal cords that looked like parted, pink curtains.

Brandon attached the breathing bag to the end of the tube and then squeezed the bag as Nurse Samantha listened to Mr. Peterson’s chest.

“Breath sounds equal,” Nurse Samantha said.

Hannah turned to Connor and smiled. “Great job, Connor!”

But there was no time for Connor to enjoy his success. As far as he knew, Mr. Peterson’s heart still wasn’t beating.

“Rhythm check,” Connor barked out.

Hannah stopped pressing on the patient’s chest, and Connor checked the heart monitor. The bad zigzagging line was still on its screen. Connor’s stomach sunk.

“V‑fib,” he said. “Give him epi and charge to three hundred.”

Nurse Samantha turned a dial on the defibrillator and pressed a button. The machine emitted its awful squeal.

Another nurse—a serious-looking woman wearing glasses—emptied two syringes full of clear liquid into Mr. Peterson’s IV tube, and then shouted, “Epi’s in.”

Connor placed the metal defibrillator paddles onto Mr. Peterson’s chest once again. “Clear.” He pressed the lightning bolt buttons, and Mr. Peterson’s body jerked unnaturally for an instant. On the heart monitor, the zigzagging line shot up and then down … and then it became flat.

Mr. Peterson’s heart wasn’t quivering anymore. It had completely stopped. Connor felt like his own heart might stop.

“Resume CPR,” Connor said through the lump in this throat.

But just before Hannah’s gloved hands touched Mr. Peterson’s chest, the heart monitor let out a soft bleep.

Then another bleep.

Then another bleep.

Connor’s gaze flew to the monitor. Little blips appeared in the line running across the screen.

“Sinus rhythm,” Connor said in thrilled disbelief.

Hannah placed her fingers on Mr. Peterson’s neck. “He’s got a pulse!” she announced, grinning with excitement.

Mr. Peterson’s heart was finally beating!

Applause broke out in a corner of the trauma room. A few adults emerged from the shadows led by a slim, blond‑haired man who looked like a much older version of Connor. He was Connor’s dad, Doctor Mark Hansen.

“Nice work, everyone!” Connor’s dad said. And then he leaned close to Connor and added, “Excellent job, Connor.”

Connor’s dad rarely smiled, but he was smiling right now. Connor could tell that his dad was really proud of him. But there was something about this patient that his dad didn’t know. Something Connor knew would change his dad’s pride to shame.


* * *

Read more of Kid Docs by J.W. Lynne at Amazon.com!

 

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About this novel:

Genre or genres of literature: coming of age, adventure, ya (young adult)
Point of view: third person
Gender of protagonist: male
Page count: under 300 pages
  J.W. Lynne is the author of ten novels popular among teen, young adult, and adult readers. Lynne's works of fiction feature preteen and teenage main characters.

Books best for kids in middle school through adults: The Unknown, Kid Docs, and Wild Animal School

Books best for teenagers in high school through adults: Above the Sky, Lost in Los Angeles, and Lost in Tokyo.

(Last updated January 2021)