When my daughter Ashley became a young adult, she moved to the other side of the mountains to Western Washington and started a job working in a hospital as an emergency room registration professional.
Her first day was spent in orientation, being guided through the various stations and work areas of the ER.
It didn’t take Ashley very long to have the job down and she fit right in comfortably as one of the crew. But soon she began to notice something strange.
Almost nightly she would hear what sounded like a child softly crying nearby. Most of the time she chalked it up to a patient being seen, as there were people coming and going all the time, but she soon realized that it was happening all too often to be different patients. She tried to follow where the sound was coming from and nearest she could tell it seemed to come from one specific exam room, but that one was seldom used, and every time she would go down there, the lights would be off and nobody had even used the room.
This continued for some time and she was surprised when one night a co-worker asked her, “Who’s crying?” She knew she was not the only one hearing it. And it continued almost nightly.
One night Ashley and her co-worker were sitting at the registration desk, when suddenly, they saw a young blond boy round the corner of the desk and exit out the ambulance bay doors. The counter is fairly tall, so all they could see was his head bobbing up and down above the top of the counter as if he was skipping. They guessed he was 9-10 years old.
The ambulance bay doors can only be opened with a code punched on a key-pad, so when the little guy went out the door, they went chasing after him in case his parents lost track of him. As they got to the ambulance bay doors, he was nowhere to be found. He had disappeared.
Not long after, Ashley was talking with one of the doctors on duty and she asked him what the hardest cases were for him to deal with. He answered that without a doubt, the toughest for him were ones where children are killed. He said that those were the ones you never forget.
Ashley perked up a bit and asked him for examples. He told of one little Hispanic boy who had been in an accident and died while drinking cleaning chemicals, thinking it was juice. He also mentioned a little boy who was beaten to death by his dad. The dad told police that he was tired of his son always whimpering. “All he does is cry about everything,” he said.
That piqued Ashley’s interest. She asked him about the boy. The doc said he was about 10 years old, very cute little blond boy. Died in the room that Ashley had kept hearing the crying.
By now Ashley was intrigued, and a bit spooked. As soon as she could, she looked the little boy up in the system to learn more about him.
One of the first things she found was that he was being treated, and died, on the very date and time she was being shown around the ER on her orientation day.
Since that moment, she has never heard his cry.