Faresenol - 11 minutes

Faresenol by John McDermott


Short film      Drama


A soccer mum must choose whether or not to forcefully wake up her comatose husband and risk him dying, so he can identify terrorists before they blow up another shopping mall.  


BETH with her two children JEMIMA and ADAM arrive at Barlinnie prison to visit their dad, COLIN for the last time before he is released. Adam growls at the security guard as he puts on his visitor’s badge.

Colin promises to take them to the shopping centre on Saturday. Jemima wants to buy a new teddy bear. Adam checks a news article on his phone that explains that Colin shot a suspected terrorist, SORAB, but the terrorist was freed and Colin, a hero cop, was jailed.

Adam believes his dad should have been given a medal instead of a jail cell. Adam storms away from his dad and takes his frustrations out on a vending machine.

As promised, Beth and Colin take Adam and Jemima to Braehead shopping centre. Jemima picks a new teddy bear and calls him Schubert. Through the window Colin notices three Arab men exiting an employee only door. One of them is Sorab who laughs at Colin.

Colin tells Beth to calmly take Adam and Jemima and get out as fast as she can. Colin follows Sorab but a bomb explodes. Colin is thrown to the ground. People are on fire; others have lost limbs. Hanging wires crackle with electricity.

In the Queen Elizabeth hospital, a life support machine keeps Colin breathing steadily. Adam and Jemima sit on Colin’s bed. Beth reads a leaflet about living with comatose relatives. DR. TATE scrapes Colin’s eyeballs. No reaction from Colin. He puts pins on Colin’s feet. No response. Beth pleads with Colin to wake up. They miss him and want him back.

 DCI TAYLOR and DCI SIERRA explain to Beth that they need to wake Colin up from his coma. He can identify the men who blew up the shopping centre. However, the procedure could kill him before he can speak. DCI Sierra shows Beth graphic photos of bomb blast victims, including one of a young girl killed in the blast still holding her teddy bear. Beth doesn’t like being blackmailed.

Dr. Tate explains they have a possible solution, “Faresenol” a wonder drug that has been getting great reviews in the trials. Dr. Tate explains that it would allow the neurons to heal faster. Beth has no idea what he is talking about but Dr. Tate convinces Beth he believes the drug will work. Beth signals for him to inject Colin. But Colin flatlines. Nurses prep the crash cart and prepare the paddles. After two attempts Colin’s heart beat stabilises.

Beth meets Adam and Jemima after school and takes them to a church where she explains the danger their dad is in. They pray to God that Colin will be safe. Beth teaches them to say the Hail Mary. Jemima clasps her hand together and closes her eyes as she prays.  

Colin continues his treatment and it seems to be working. The Glasgow Coma scale measures a patient’s ability to respond to stimuli and his scores are getting higher. Dr. Tate injects a double dose of Faresenol into Colin’s IV drip. Colin slowly opens his eye for a brief second. Jemima stares at Colin but his eye remains shut. Then, he shakes violently. Beth has to perform CPR before the nurses arrive.

Finally, with the tiniest pressure possible, Colin squeezes Beth’s right index finger with his left hand. Beth’s rosary beads drop to the floor. DCI Sierra lays out photos of male terror suspects on a table. The sixth one is a photo of Sorab talking in a café.