Brenton Gurney sat outside the operating theatre at Sydney’s Westmead Hospital, hoping for a sign.
It was 11pm, and his twin brother, Craig, had been in surgery for five hours.
The older of the 38-year-old identical twins was undergoing delicate neurosurgery, and Brenton couldn’t shake the dread of what might lie ahead for his sibling and best buddy.
Doctors had warned that Craig might not survive. Even if he did, there was a 50% chance he’d have lasting brain impairment.
As the surgical team worked on Craig, his brother, together with Craig’s wife, Nicole, and the twins’ parents, Cheryl and Dennis, waited and ached for news.
By 1am, the family was near exhaustion. Nicole, Cheryl and Dennis kept glancing over at Brenton, hoping he’d know something they didn’t.
But he was just as desperate.
Part of him wished he could be on the operating table instead of his brother, to protect him from whatever was unfolding.
That was a normal brotherly response; something most of us would feel when a loved one was in a critical state.
But for Brenton it was much more.
Something strange and inexplicable had been happening all their lives.
And the recent headaches Brenton had been enduring had been quite awful.