This is one of a collection of stories that are tragedies with technical details surrounding the fatal (or near-fatal) event that are drawn from real cases in the US OSHA incident report database or similar sources and are therefore entirely realistic, even if seemingly outlandish.

Nothing in her training as a vet could have prepared Shania for breaking the law. She hadn’t considered that nearly one-third of her patients would be the owners, and that she would be taking over the role as the local ER when the only hospital closed.

Over 5 years, Shania faced countless tiny decisions about whether to deliver care and knowingly break the law or go by the letter of the law and know that people would try to treat themselves. She had heard plenty of stories of locals skipping treatment and relying on social media and gossip to treat injuries and illnesses that got progressively worse. Shania slowly but surely became the local urgent care and OB/GYN.

Travis was not a cynical or suspicious man by nature, but there were two things he had learned about life. If anyone was making a ton of money, they were likely cheating someone, and if government were eager for you to buy something, it meant they were in someone’s pocket. He knew all about how big pharma made money by milking the average working stiff. Travis knew when he was being lied to and he had no doubt that when pharma and government were speaking with one mouth, their hands were trying to slide into his pocket.

It all got to him, and he sometimes selfmedicated with barbiturates. They helped him calm down when panic swelled up inside his chest and threatened to paralyze his heart. They also helped him get to sleep instead of worrying in the darkness about government plots and murky schemes.