About a year ago, an aggressive patient entered my emergency room.
I’m using a throwaway account because of the legal mess I could get into sharing this information. I would lose my job, and likely worse than that. But I have to tell someone. It will put my mind at ease, I hope. And it may save you if you ever see what I saw.
I work in a hospital. My position allows me access to chart notes of patients here. I’m going to share the nurse’s notes here, then I’ll try my best to retell about my experiences. Each clinical note will be headed by the date, time and name, as it’s relevant, but I’ve censored the names to protect everyone involved.
Before I get into things, I’m going to be changing some words due to privacy, plus some words or abbreviations that people outside of the medical field may not understand. I will put these things in [brackets].
It starts at 3 am on a thursday. I wasn’t working yet, but at 5pm I clocked in for an overnight. It was pretty normal at first, until I started hearing stories from coworkers of what had been going on. I’ll get into this later, though. It starts with the initial triage note, when police officers and local EMS bring in a man on a stretcher, handcuffed and strapped down. He was dressed like any other guy, in a casual t shirt and red track pants. 32 years old, had never been to our hospital so he wasn’t in our system. He never told us more than his name and date of birth.
DOS: 08/3/17 – 03:20 – Note by J___ F_______ , RN
Pt [Patient] ambulated in triage by PD [police]. Pt cuffed, demands cuffs are removed. Speech slurred, unsteady gait. Pt very agitated, not cooperative with police or staff, refuses to take vitals. Denies ETOH [alcohol] or drugs. Pt continuously shouting about needing to go, someone’s going to kill him. Will not explain further for staff. Prescribed Risperidone, states he has not taken meds in months. Pt states he does not need meds, he is “not crazy”. PD states pt was picked up next to [main highway in our town] after several drivers called 911, people saying pt was throwing sticks and weeds at cars, asking for someone to stop. Pt refuses to explain, states he doesn’t know how he got here. Pt states he’s from Oregon, has no idea how he came to [my state]. Becoming combative with staff, states he needs to leave, cursing frequently. Security called, pt waiting for room in [psychiatric wing]. Allergy to latex.
DOS 08/3/17 – 04:04 – Note by F______ R__ , RN
assumed care of pt, very aggressive with staff. 4 security guards present, police standing by, pt still cuffed. pt demands he leaves b/c he isnt safe. says someone is in his eyes showing him things. attempting to flee. given meds to relax.
DOS 08/3/17 – 04:47 – Note by F______ R__ , RN
cuffs removed, pt sleeping. security searched belongings, pockets full of round stones painted like eyeballs. one stone found in pts cheek. unsure what they are.
DOS 08/3/17 – 06:19 – Note by F______ R__ , RN
another “eyeball” found in pts mouth and hand. no one reports pt moving, unsure of where/when he got the stones.
DOS 08/3/17 – 12:54 – Note by P______ M____________, MD
I have seen and examined this patient with resident Dr. S_______ L________ and will be responsible for his care plan.
The patient has come to [our hospital] for a crisis psychiatric evaluation. He repeatedly states that he is not crazy, and refuses any medications for his anxiety. He states that he has no history of depression. He was prescribed Risperidone for bipolar disorder but says that he stopped taking his medications because he moved out of his parent’s house and he doesn’t need them anymore. He says that his parents had forced him to take medication that he didn’t need. Family is in Oregon and the patient does not know why is he is in [our state] or how he got here. He says he was picked up on the side of the highway because he was trying to flag down a car so that he could “get away from it”. He refuses to extrapolate further and becomes very uneasy with mentioning “it”. He has no history of disease and says that he does not know about his family’s medical history.
DOS 08/3/17 – 13:34 – Note by F______ R__ , RN
pt given a sandwich but refuses to eat. marked as private by registration and no visitors allowed per pt request.
DOS 08/3/17 – 15:01 – Note by M______ M____ , RN
I’ve assumed care of pt. Pt relaxed in stretcher, has eaten sandwich and given ginger ale. Keeps insisting on leaving as it “isn’t safe” and he needs to run. Complaining of headache x2 hours, pain 3/10, says its regular for him but he doesn’t know the cause. States pain meds never help. Refuses a CT scan, won’t listen to advice of staff.
DOS 08/3/17 – 15:35 – Note by M______ M____ , RN
Gave pt a blanket, eyes have become very dark and red. Pupils dilated. Pt states its normal for him and it’ll pass, refuses any treatment despite physician’s advice. Mouth very dry, hands cold.Another “eyeball” similar to ones found previously found underneath his pillow. No idea how it got there as pt has been on watch with security and no unusual movement was ever noted. When pt was asked about the stones he became very agitated and threatened staff, says “I don’t know, I don’t know” over and over.
DOS 08/3/17 – 15:58 – Note by M______ M____ , RN
Eyes have become progressively more red and darkened. Headache now 6/10. Still refusing medication.
DOS 08/3/17 – 18:19 – Note by M______ M____ , RN
Pt’s red eyes and headache have subsided, pt now refusing to speak. Will make eye contact. Vital signs stable, requested CT scan.
DOS 08/3/17 – 19:27 – Note by M______ M____ , RN
Pt gone to CT.
DOS 08/3/17 – 21:09 – Note by M______ M____ , RN
CT results normal. Pt given another blanket, now becoming more uneasy. HR [heart rate] 88. Speaking again, now states a ringing in his ears. After examination ears appear normal. Still refusing pain meds as “they won’t do shit.” Pt states it’s important that he leaves soon because he’s not safe in the hospital.
DOS 08/3/17 – 21:16 – Note by M______ M____ , RN
Per check-in desk registration: a man wearing dark sunglasses appeared to the lobby asking for pt by full name and stated exact room pt is in. No idea how he obtained the information. Pt being moved to a more private room for safety precautions. Pt states he doesn’t know who the man could be. Ringing in ears has subsided.
DOS 08/3/17 – 21:43 – Note by V____ S_______ , RN
Assuming care of pt after transfering to [room number] for safety concerns. Pt in stable condition but very nervous. Pupils dilated, colors normal. Security notes finding rocks painted like eyeballs in their pockets and pt gets very anxious when asked about them, constantly says he doesn’t know where they come from. Refuses to speak to psych doc. Ears ringing, pt states an 8/10 headache, tylenol given. Pt refusing to eat.
DOS 08/3/17 – 21:48 – Note by V____ S_______ , RN
Pt pacing room, door closed with 3 security guards present. Pt very agitated. I was informed of a visitor attempting to visit pt, visitor knew exact location of pt despite being marked as a private patient and moving rooms. Police called but visitor left. Registration now speaking with PD and a watch has been put out. Pt has no information on the man.
DOS 08/3/17 – 21:59 – Note by V____ S_______ , RN
Given pain meds to tolerate headache, pt adamant they will not work. 9/10 pain noted. Vitals stable. Pt turning TV on and off repeatedly. Psych Dr. L____ D_____ has attempted several times to speak with him but pt refuses to speak to him.
DOS 08/3/17 – 22:19 – Note by V____ S_______ , RN
Pt left tv on, removed Johnny [those apron-like things patients wear], sleeping. Snoring quite loudly. Circular scar noted on left upper back around heart area.
DOS 08/3/17 – 23:45 – Note by V____ S_______ , RN
Pt sleeping steadily, has not changed positions. Stable on monitors.
DOS 08/4/17 – 0001 – Note by V____ S_______ , RN
Pt awoke suddenly extremely agitated, abusive with staff. Fighting to leave the room, held down by security. Pt screaming about his face/head burning, shouted “100/10” pain. Put in restraints and given [medication] via IV in left arm.
DOS 08/4/17 – 0016 – Note by V____ S_______ , RN
Registration rep mentioning the man with sunglasses appearing looking for the pt, about the exact time the pt’s attitude elevated. Registration says they attempted to stall the man until PD could arrive again. As PD walks in the man has left. Security posted at entrance of [psych wing] as well as check in desk.
DOS 08/4/17 – 0032 – Note by V____ S_______ , RN
Entered room to check IV, bag was found on the floor. The bag was emptied of fluids and filled with stone eyeballs identical to the ones found earlier. Pt sleeping steadily. No explanation at all. More security called, 2 guards now in room with pt.
DOS 08/4/17 – 0039 – Note by X____ R________ , RN
Assuming care of pt. Briefed on unusual happenings of pts visit. Pts temperature slowly lowering. Last measured 97.2 at 0048. Eyes occasionally opening rapidly and shutting after a few seconds. Eyes extremely red. On call docs paged, medical team arriving for evaluation.
DOS 08/4/17 – 0056 – Note by X____ R________ , RN
“eyeball” rock just found in my pocket. Have not had any contact with this patient prior to finding the object. Police have been called to stay in hospital.
DOS 08/4/17 – 0130 – Note by X____ R________ , RN
Pt sleeping. Waking up every 10 minutes to turn TV on and off again. Docs have arrived for eval.
DOS 08/4/17 – 0208 – Note by X____ R________ , RN
Pt was awake and conversing with medical team calmly for eval. No explanation has been found yet. Several doctors have found stone eyeballs in their pockets.
DOS 08/4/17 – 0302 – Note by X____ R________ , RN
Patient awoke suddenly screaming and thrashing, put back in restraints. Security cameras have seen the man with sunglasses walking hallways that are employee access only. Extra security has been called and the ED has been put on a secure lockdown. More police officers will be arriving shortly.
This is where I’ll pick up the story as the clinical notes get very scattered from here. The event I’m going to describe happened over the course of 20 minutes.
It started with him screaming at exactly 3 am. I could hear him all the way down the hallway, but I wasn’t allowed even close to the room. Shouting and screaming isn’t exactly out of place in an emergency room, especially psych, yet everyone in the whole department had become very visibly shaken and nervous. The air had thinned out and it almost became hard to breathe in there. We aren’t a small hospital, but we’re not a big one either. Nothing like this patient had ever been seen before.
Security saw the man with sunglasses on security cameras in 3 places, all exclusively employee access only. One of the places even I am not allowed. He wore pitch black shades, a circular black hat sort of similar to what the US navy sailors would wear. It was a dark, dark gray. So was his robe, a long, patterned piece of cloth stretching all the way to the floor so no part of his feet was visible. It was covered in ornate black designs but the security cameras are too low-resolution to really pick out any of it’s finer details. How he was found in 3 places is completely unknown. Not just unknown, but impossible. No one could’ve done that. Security is blaming technical error but after hearing the patient’s screams about not being safe, I can’t believe that. Something different was coming for him.
At exactly 03:20 in the morning the screaming stopped. It all just ceased in an instant. A large flash of red light had been seen by some of my coworkers coming through the little windows in the doors of the patient’s room. Light a deep red like a UV heat lamp. As my coworker said… a sinister red. After the light, the whole ED was quiet for a second, until people started to investigate what happened.
Three doctors, two nurses, three techs, four security guards. They were in the room with the flash of light and after it, they weren’t. They weren’t in any room, they had completely vanished. No trace of anyone left behind.
The patient was there, though. For the most part. The body of the patient was there, all except the eyes. They had been removed with clean cuts to the eye stalks as if done by a surgeon.
Nothing special happened that day besides these events. It was pretty typical. But it just felt wrong to even be there. It was like I had to leave just so I could go clear my mind. I did some heavy drinking that night, I remember. They didn’t let me go back to work for 3 days. Our department closed and emergency patients were diverted to another nearby hospital. I still don’t know who was there for 3 days and what they were doing.
2 weeks later one of our nurses that went missing had been identified in a hospital in Nice, France. Their police had contacted our hospital after identifying her and finding out that she had been listed as a missing person. She had apparently been quite uncooperative for their staff. She died that night for unknown reasons. But that’s all I ever heard about that. No one really mentions the whole thing around here. We just kind of go on with our lives, try not to think about it too hard. There’s a plaque here with the names of the missing people. They all have had funerals, their families all know that they’re not coming back. It’s sad to me that they’ll never know what became of them. Probably no one ever will. Whatever happened, I’m not sure I even want to know. It feels almost safer the less I know.
I’m just glad I wasn’t in the room with the flash. All I’ll say is that if you ever find a little stone, about 2 inches wide, spherical, and painted ornately as an eyeball, don’t touch it. Don’t go near it, just leave and don’t go back to it. The less you see, the safer you are.