By the time Xiao Lou came to the cardiac surgery department, Shao Qingge had been pushed out of the ICU ward. His mental state seemed good and his body data was very stable. Zhao Sen had contacted the anesthesiologist and he would be sent for anesthesia soon.
Xiao Lou walked quickly to Shao Qingge’s bed and leaned over to whisper in his ears. “Chief Shao, don’t worry. I will follow you all the way. The risk of death in stent implantation isn’t high. This is a type of minimally invasive interventional surgery and postoperative recovery is very fast. You will wake up smoothly.”
Xiao Lou’s warm words of comfort relieved Shao Qingge’s heart a lot and a smile appeared on his face. He nodded and said, “Okay, I will cooperate with the anesthesiologist. I will sleep and be fine when I wake up.”
It was best for him to think so. Xiao Lou sighed with relief and accompanied the nurse to send Shao Qingge to the anesthesia room.
They had just walked to the door of the cardiac surgery department when he saw a 7 year old boy hiding behind a pillar, poking his head out from time to time. After meeting Xiao Lou’s gaze, the little boy’s eyes brightened and he quickly ran over. He stopped by Shao Qingge’s bed and spoke softly. “I came to see Chief Shao. Are you going to the operating room now?”
Shao Qingge looked sideways when he heard the familiar voice and smiled. “Xiao Ye? Why are you here?”
Ye Qi answered, “I took advantage of the morning rounds when the doctors and nurses weren’t paying attention to me to sneak out to see you.”
“Don’t worry, I’m fine.” Shao Qingge reached out to gently touch Xiao Ye’s head. “This surgery is very simple. It is just a small opening in the blood vessel without needing to open the chest and take out the heart. Xiao Lou will be present so there won’t be any problems.”
“Yes, then I’ll wait for you to come out.” Ye Qi slipped a card to Xiao Lou. “Professor Xiao, take this bug and put it in your pocket. I will be able to hear any movements in the operating room. If things go wrong, Liu Qiao and I will come to the operating room to help immediately.”
“Okay. Xiao Ye, go back and inform everyone that they should find a way to leave the hospital as soon as possible to help Group Leader Yu. Group Leader Yu has a new case and there are more clues to investigate. There aren’t enough people.” Xiao Lou whispered in Ye Qi’s ear. “You should first find an excuse to go through the discharge procedures. If the attending doctor doesn’t agree then escape from the hospital together tonight.”
“Understood.” Ye Qi turned and left, making a ‘jiayou’ gesture to Shao Qingge.
Shao Qingge watched the little guy leaving and smiled. “Ye Qi is very cute as a child.”
Xiao Lou agreed. “Yes. He also cares about you a lot. He specifically sneaked out to see you.”
“I connected to him last night and my nervousness must’ve affected him.”
After hearing Chief Shao’s explanation, Xiao Lou suddenly remembered something. “Group Leader Yu and I are also connected to each other. I don’t know what is going on with his side. It is said there is a new case.”
Yu Hanjiang was about to go to the crime scene to see the second corpse. Xiao Lou spoke worriedly in his mind. “Group Leader Yu, everything is fine with Chief Shao. I’m going to send him to the operating room. What is your situation?”
Yu Hanjiang said, “The dismembered body was found in the garbage dump. This time, our police team will be dispatched together to conduct a search of the garbage dump on the outskirts of the city. I suspect there is more than one dead person. I can’t talk much. I will contact you again at noon. Watch the surgery well and don’t be distracted.”
Xiao Lou told him to pay attention to safety and pushed Shao Qingge into the anesthesia room. The operation required general anesthesia. Shao Qingge soon lost consciousness under the effect of the anesthesia. After the anesthesia was stabilized, Zhao Sen also came over with a young assistant. Xiao Lou and Zhao Sen changed into the surgical gowns, disinfected and washed their hands.
The light above Shao Qingge’s head turned on and the operation officially began. Xiao Lou stood beside him and he was so nervous that he was sweating.
On the other hand, Zhao Sen was extremely calm. He methodically opened a channel in the femoral artery of Shao Qingge’s left thigh and inserted a slender sheath tube that slowly headed for the heart along the blood vessels. With the help of a contrast agent, the doctor could clearly see the blood vessels in the human body through the x-ray.
Interventional surgery was a delicate and minimally invasive surgery. Unless Zhao Sen intentionally punctured Shao Qingge’s heart or blood vessels, the possibility of Shao Qingge experiencing an accident on the operating table wasn’t high. However, the blood vessels of the heart were so fragile. If Zhao Sen wanted to kill Shao Qingge then any operation error could kill him!
Xiao Lou didn’t dare to relax and he stared closely at the dense image of the blood vessels. Soon, Zhao Sen saw the blocked blood vessels. He pointed at the black shadow on the screen to the assistant next to him and said, “See? This is the left anterior descending coronary artery. This is the circumflex artery…”
The young doctor next to him said, “The stenosis is more than 80%. It is true that the stent should be placed as soon as possible or the probability of a myocardial infarction is too high.”
The two people discussed it while putting the balloon wrapped with the metal stent into the blood vessel channel. They guided it to the location of the lesion and spread it. The originally narrow blood vessel was opened by the stent and the blood flow became unobstructed. Immediately afterward, Zhao Sen put in the second and third brackets…
His expression was always calm and his hands were very steady during the operation. His movements were quick and decisive. He was indeed a great surgeon. Xiao Lou stood on the sidelines the entire time, his heart in his throat out of fear that something would go wrong in the process.
It was just one hour but it felt as long as a century. It wasn’t until Zhao Sen said, “It’s done,” that Xiao Lou sighed with relief, forehead sweaty.
Zhao Sen glanced back at Xiao Lou and joked, “Dr Xiao should be relieved now? I said a long time ago that your friend’s surgery isn’t difficult. Why are you so nervous?”
Xiao Lou reluctantly smiled and pretended to be calm. “Thank you Dr Zhao. I have never seen such a delicate intervention before. I was just nervous watching it.”
Zhao Sen turned to change his surgical gown, took off his gloves and spoke while washing his hands, “The new generation of vascular stents used now has a very good effect. Your friend’s three narrow blood vessels have been completely dredged. Next, he just needs to take medicine regularly and the risk of a myocardial infarction will be very low. However, he needs to pay attention to avoid doing any intense exercise and it is best not to be too emotional.”
Xiao Lou nodded seriously. “I will tell Shao Qingge.” He paused before pretending to ask casually, “By the way, I heard that you can do heart transplants?”
The moment he spoke, the surroundings suddenly seemed quiet. The cold air of the air-conditioning blew onto Xiao Lou’s neck and Zhao Sen’s eyes behind his glasses were cold and sharp, causing a chill to go down Xiao Lou’s spine. Zhao Sen answered lightly, “Oh? Dr Xiao is interested in heart transplants?”
Xiao Lou gritted his teeth and said, “I heard Uncle Shao say it yesterday and was just asking casually. Is it true that you can do the most complex heart transplant at such a young age?”
Zhao Sen slowly washed his hands without answering the question, making the atmosphere awkward for a while.
Xiao Lou didn’t ask again and waited patiently. Moments later, Zhao Sen finished washing his hands and headed to the lounge next door while answering, “A heart transplant surgery is really complicated. I have done only a few and they were all with Doctor Lin.”
Xiao Lou quickly washed his hands and followed while pretending to be curious. “Shouldn’t it be difficult to find a heart donor? Most people don’t donate their hearts. Where does the hospital usually find the heart source?”
Zhao Sen went into the lounge, poured a glass of water and took a few sips. “There are some death row prisoners who will donate their hearts before death if there is a successful match. This is regarded as a good deed and will accumulate blessings for future generations. Secondly, they can get some money to supplement their families. Our hospital only performed two heart transplants last year and the hearts came from prisoners sentenced to death. The consent form was signed before doing so.”
“It is a good thing for the death row inmates. They won’t die from being shot and it is a good thing to save another life with their heart.” Xiao Lou pretended to chat with Zhao Sen while continuing to question him. “Apart from death row prisoners, are there any other sources?”
“The hearts of some people who are judged as brain dead can be used. You are a doctor and should know that the standard for clinically judging a person’s death isn’t cardiac arrest but brain death. Some patients are brain-dead but their hearts are still beating. Taking the heart out during this time can also save lives.”
“That is true.” Brain-dead people had lost consciousness and were clinically treated as dead. Sometimes, the heart of a brain-dead patient was indeed still beating. If there was consent from the family members then it was reasonable, medically ethical and legal to take out the heart to save others.
Xiao Lou continued asking, “A major operation like a heart transplant should require several doctors to cooperate together?”
“Of course. There is Director Lin and I along with two assistants. Usually four people are needed to complete it.”
Xiao Lou looked at Zhao Sen thoughtfully. This man’s expression was calm and not guilty at all when talking about the topic of a heart transplant. However, Zhao Sen’s psychological quality wasn’t comparable to that of ordinary people. He could even calmly make specimens out of the organs of his cousin’s body…
Since a heart transplant operation required several people to work together, if Zhao Sen was related to the organ trafficking organization then the entire heart surgery team would be committing the crime. Director Lin, Zhao Sen and the two assistants were all suspects.
Xiao Lou thought this was unlikely.
The doctors and nurses of the cardiac surgery department added up to over 20 and the operating rooms of Incheon Hospital were a different department that included head nurses, instrument nurses, scrub nurses plus the anesthesia department. How could so many people commit the crime together? Perhaps the doctors at Incheon Hospital really didn’t know the source of these organs.
In this case, Zhao Sen wasn’t the murderer…
He really was a witness?!
Xiao Lou was shocked when thinking of this possibility and he pretended to inadvertently ask, “By the way Dr Zhao, do you know someone named Cheng Shaoyu? He is the eldest son of the richest person in our city’s clothing industry. Cheng Jiandong.”
“I know him.” Zhao Sen smiled. “I did his heart transplant.”
Xiao Lou, “!!!!”
Zhao Sen was a person associated with the ‘Cheng Shaoyu dismembered body case’ and he personally performed surgery on Cheng Shaoyu?
Yu Hanjiang was originally investigating the ‘Cheng Shaoyu dismembered body case’ before being sent to the hospital because of his injury. Cheng Shaoyu’s torso hadn’t been found, only his limbs. Therefore, the police didn’t expect it to be organ trafficking at first. They only thought it was a revenge killing. The suspicion was on Cheng Shaofeng, the deceased’s younger brother who he had conflicts with due to property inheritance.
Unfortunately, Cheng Shaofeng disappeared and Yu Hanjiang was shot during the investigation. The case entered a bottleneck and no further clues were found.
It wasn’t until Xiao Lou discovered the suspicious corpse of Liu Renyuan in the morgue and performed a secret autopsy that it was determined that Liu Renyuan’s right kidney was missing. The two men gradually linked the case to organ trafficking.
Cheng Shaoyu was a rich second generation so he didn’t need to sell kidneys for money. The most reasonable guess that was Cheng Shaoyu also experienced an organ transplant. He wasn’t a seller of organs but the beneficiary of an organ transplant.
Xiao Lou had just casually questioned Zhao Sen but he didn’t expect it to be a key clue in this case. Cheng Shaoyu actually underwent a heart transplant!
Xiao Lou took a deep breath and calmed himself quickly. Then he glanced at Zhao Sen with a smile. “Dr Zhao is really amazing. You can do a heart transplant at such a young age. I can only do an appendectomy right now. It is too shameful compared to you.”
Zhao Sen was in a good mood after being praised. He drank a mouthful of water and continued. “The one operating on Cheng Shaoyu was actually chief surgeon Director Lin and I just helped. Director Lin was responsible for removing the heart and I put the healthy heart in. We each did half of it. Otherwise, our physical strength wouldn’t be able to withstand the seven hours of surgery.”
“Yes, being a surgeon really requires a lot of stamina…” Xiao Lou paused and shifted the subject. “By the way, did the heart transplanted into Cheng Shaoyu come from a death row prisoner or a brain-dead patient?”
“The Cheng family is rich enough to find a death row prisoner to buy it.” Zhao Sen smiled. “It should be considered lucky for Young Master Cheng. He happened to find a suitable heart. He had congestive heart failure that was at the end stages. If he didn’t have a heart transplant then he probably wouldn’t have lived for even a year.”
“Dr Zhao, operating room 3 is cleaned up and the patient has been anaesthetized. Do you want to start the operation?” A nurse knocked on the door and wondered.
“Yes, I’m coming.” Zhao Sen put down the water glass, stood up and told Xiao Lou, “I still have an operation to do.”
“Okay, you can go to work.” Zhao Sen watched him leave. Then he quickly walked to the general surgery duty room and closed the door, his heart beating violently. He searched for Yu Hanjiang through the mind channel, “Group Leader Yu, it is important. I discovered that Zhao Sen has done a heart transplant on Cheng Shaoyu!”
“I sensed most of it when you were talking to him.” Yu Hanjiang’s calm voice was heard. “My side also has a major discovery. A large number of dismembered corpses have appeared in this garbage dump on the outskirts of the city. After a preliminary judgment, it has been determined that at least five people have been thrown away.”
“……” A chill rose from the soles of his feet and Xiao Lou felt numb. “The organization we are investigating this time is simply a bunch of inhuman beasts!”
“I think so too.” Yu Hanjiang glanced sharply at the body parts everywhere. Many of the corpses were charred and the scene was shocking. It was like purgatory on earth.
Proofreader: Fictional Reality & Paranoid Kitten