After she abreacted the shock and pain of this trauma, she mentioned that every night she was having disturbed dreams, but one which had puzzled her greatly.
She dreamt that she was dreaming that the accident had happened. She felt so happy that the accident was after all only a dream. She could now continue to sleep because when she wakes up the nightmare will end too.
But anyway she woke up and immediately reached for her smartphone to call her father to tell him as to what a terrible dream she had had about him, only to realize that she had pictures of her father on life support in that very phone, which on checking she found yes they were there, and all her pain came flooding back.
Here is Freud on the issue of dream within a dream
The interesting and allied problem, as to what is meant when some of the content of a dream described in the dream itself as "dreamt' - the enigma of the 'dream within a dream' - has been solved in a similar sense by Stekel, who has analysed some convincing examples. The intention is, once again, to detract from the importance of what is 'dreamt' in the dream, to rob of its reality. What is dreamt in a dream after waking from the 'dream within a dream' is what the dream-wish seeks to put in the place of an obliterated reality. It is safe to suppose, therefore, that what has been 'dreamt' in the dream is a representation of the reality, the true recollection, while the continuation of the dream, on the contrary, merely represents what the dreamer wishes. To include something in a 'dream within a dream' is thus equivalent to wishing that the thing described as a dream had never happened. In other words, if a particular event is inserted into a dream as a dream by the dream-work itself, this implies the most decided confirmation of the reality of the event - the strongest affirmation of it. The dream-work makes use of dreaming as a form of repudiation, and so confirms the discovery that dreams are wish-fulfilments.
The dream within a dream of my patient confirms the correctness of Freud's explanation of this puzzle.
I may add here that sadly the patient's father did not make it out of the ICU and left the patient's dream of keeping him alive against all odds unfulfilled.