Thanks for all the great comments so far. Writing is a great pleasure to me and I hope the next part is as well accepted. Any comments or suggestions for plot development will be warmly received. Thanks for all the great comments so far. Writing is a great pleasure to me and I hope the next part is as well accepted. Any comments or suggestions for plot development will be warmly received. Danny. Explosive Decompression- Sams recovery. Come in Gillian stepped through the doorway into Dr Wetheringtons office. She had been waiting patiently outside the NASA medical departmental heads office for over 30 minutes already and was relieved to finally get the chance to talk to him. Ah, Gillian! So glad to see you.. Dr Wetherington stood up from his desk and walked over to the door, his hand outstretched. Michael, thanks for seeing me at short notice, Gillian replied, taking his hand and shaking. Not at all. Im only sorry its been so long since the incident. I read your report with interest. A moment of silence, perhaps uncomfortable. Yes. Well, I wanted to get straight to the point. How is Sam? Its been over 3 weeks and no one has seen him other than his family and the medical team at the secure unit in Washington. Dont worry Gillian. Sam is well. Hes stronger every day and will soon be released. Its just the sensitive nature of his injuries, thats all. Weve been locked down from the media point of view and need to limit access. I understand that, but Dawn has been beside herself with worry. Me as well. Dawn? Well, she was piloting the craft, but why should she be more worried than anyone else? he asked. Dawn asked me to come and speak to you. She wanted to see him she replied. I see. Well, its difficult. She wanted to keep their relationship quiet for obvious reasons. Now she feels shes been kept out of the loop. OK. Gillian, Ill see what I can do but I cant promise anything. Dr Wetherington sat back on his luxurious leather desk chair, looking tired and old. You know Im retiring soon. Perhaps I can get Mr Collins team to allow access to the both of you later this week. Gillian relaxed. She knew she could count on Michael. They had been friends for years. Thanks Michael. Let me know. Youve got my number. Yes. Gillian turned to leave. Gillian., he said, You know people are asking questions about the whole programme. Try to keep things to yourself. OK Michael. Thank you again. With that, she turned and left the room. In Washington, the secure NASA medical unit was under armed guard 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Part of the MEDSTAR group it had a private wing underground and helicopter pad that served both the local population and accepted transfers from stabilised patients from around the World, via the main airport and occasionally directly from NASA in Florida. Sam had been transferred there directly from the emergency team incident site and all his treatment had been carried out by the specialist teams available there. Sam opened his eyes again. He hadnt expected to see what he had seen the first time he had. Two pairs of eyes looked down at him. Blurred but just about able to make out a young female face and an older male one. He had passed out again just afterwards but this was his second attempt at staying conscious. His head was heavy and his senses dulled. For a horrible moment he realised that he couldnt feel anything below his waist. Mr Harrison. Its good to see you awake. Im Dan and I work with Mr Collins, your surgeon., said the male voice. You need to know a couple of things straight away. Dont worry, you are numb below the waist for a reason. You have an epidural in keeping you pain free. Secondly, you are alive, well and recovering in Washington. Sam closed his eyes. His head was swimming. So many questions. The events of the last few weeks were hazy images in his memory. Paramedical teams treating him in Florida. Being carried on a stretcher to a helicopter. Lurching around as it flew. Oxygen masks being pressed into his face. Needles in his arms. Pain like he had never experienced before. Blessed relief as his lost consciousness. Now this, awake and comfortable, lying in a white sheeted and warm bed in Washington. Ill leave you with Sarah. Shes got to change all your dressings and check your wounds. Everything is going fine. Mr Collins is coming in to talk to you soon. Youve been kept sedated for the last few weeks but its time for you to wake up fully and get up and about now. Sam shuffled in his bed. Can you sit me up a little please? Sure., said Dan. He reached over to a little switch on the side of the bed. Just press this for up, this for down. The switch on the bracelet around your right wrist is the epidural control. It can give you a booster injection if you feel pain. Dont be afraid to use it if you need it. Sam sat himself up a little. The bed rose slowly into a more comfortable position. His head swam more, but his eyesight was clearing now. Thank you. No problem. Ill see you later. With Mr Collins. Dan left the room. The door clicked behind him quietly, locking into place. Sam noticed the touchpad circuit on the wall. Must be one of the secure rooms he thought to himself. He looked over to the nurse from earlier. She was busy preparing the tray of swabs and creams for his dressings change and had her back to him for a minute. Tall, shapely and brunette from behind. He tried not to think about it. Then he wondered what dressings needed changing? He assumed it was something with his legs, numb from the waist down he guessed he had been injured there perhaps. His memory of the events of the test flight were sketchy at best. He looked down and saw a square tent of supports under the sheets. Keeping the weight of the sheets off his legs maybe, had he been burnt he wondered. Hello Mr Harrison. Im Sarah. Ive been looking after for you for the last few weeks. Im just going to change your dressings. Is that ok? Yeah, sure. Go ahead. Sarah lifted the sheets away from the frame, and dropped the edge down over his knees leaving him exposed from the waist down. A large pile of dressings sat over his groin and thighs, his legs laying wide apart on the bed. As she removed the dressing pads Sam wondered where the hell she was heading until the last few swabs came off and he almost jumped out of the bed. Jesus Christ! he shouted. Sarah jumped visibly and dropped some of her dressings. Sorry did that hurt? she asked. Sam lay back again, breathing fast. His head span even faster. He hadnt believed what he had just seen. No. No. Its ok., he replied. I just hadnt seen under my dressings until now. Oh. Right. OK., said Sarah. Im sorry, it must be a shock. I thought the doctors had told you everything. I dont remember anything. I guess Ive been too drugged up most of the time. Well. OK. Im just going to bathe this area with water and then cover you with this cream before replacing the dressings., she said, showing him the tube of cream in her hand. What is it?, Sam asked. The slab of inflamed, swollen tissue between his legs looked like the stump of a limb, mutilated and partially amputated. He couldnt work it out. Well. This is your erm penis. I guess., she replied. She looked a little uncomfortable, a little embarrassed. That? But that thing is ridiculous. It looks like a giant salami sausage., replied Sam. The nurse looked down at his swollen organ and back at Sam. Its definitely your penis Mr Harrison. Ive been replacing these dressings for three weeks now and it looks a lot better than it did at the start. What? Why? I dont understand!, said Sam, laying back in the bed and closing his eyes. He felt frustrated and powerless. Unable to remember what had happened or why he was there.