Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A story

In a remote village in Western Africa, a young girl, age 6, is involved as a passenger in a near-fatal motorcycle accident. She is slowly fading from the large amount of blood she is losing from her open wound. A Peace Corps volunteer carries her small frame into the modest building that serves as a local hospital. It was already discussed that there is not enough time to drive her to the regional hospital a few hours a way, and an emergency blood transfusion must happen, immediately.
.
The girls' classmates have been curiously peering in the building. Their small hands holding onto the wooden door frame that protects them from the unstable structure. The volunteer looks at their files inside the building and asks the ones with a universal blood type to come inside the makeshift office. He explains to the children that the girl needs blood in order to live, that is the only option to keep her in the village. That without their help, she may not make it. He asks someone to volunteer to donate blood . The children look up at the skinny, white man in front of them, some bite their lips, some haven't really registered what he's asked. Some look away cowardly.
.
A boy of 8 halfway raises his hand and then pulls it back down. The skinny, white man patiently waits. Within seconds, he weakly holds his hand up again to volunteer himself. The skinny, white man sighs with relief and they prepare the child for the transfusion.
.
The nurse cleans the area, tools are brought in, the room prepared. As they begin the procedure, the 8-year-old boy lies there and sighs heavily as he looks at the cracked ceiling above. A tear rolls down his cheek. "Does it hurt?" the nurse asks him. He nods in disagreement, from left to right. The girl is a few feet away, her small body slowly rising and falling with every slow breath she takes.
.
The boy sighs heavily again, intent on staring at the cracks on the ceiling as tears begin roll off his round cheeks, soaking the old sweatshirt that has been made into a pillow.
.
"Are you in pain?" The nurse gently asks him. The boy nods once again in disagreement as he stares at the ceiling. Tears streaming down his cheeks. "Tell me what it is..." the nurse gently urges him.
.
"I gonna miss the village" he replies. "I'm gonna miss my brothers. My mom, my dad."
.
"Why, where are you going?" the nurse curiously asks.
.
"I'm giving her my blood, there won't be any left. I am sad that I have to die."
.
The nurse smiles softly at the boy of 8 and explains what a transfusion entails. The boy relaxes, but still doesn't trust the explanation.
.
After the procedure, the two young children are resting in the dilapidated building. The boy of 8 is nursing a paper cup of juice. The skinny, white man pulls a chair next to him and asks "When you started the procedure, you thought you were giving your blood so she could live..even if it meant you dying. Why did you decide to do that?"
.
"Because she's my friend" the boy innocently answers.

2 Comments:

At 3/27/2007 2:55 PM, Blogger cornflake girl said...

That story sounds familiar, and made me want to cry the second time hearing it...

 
At 3/27/2007 4:42 PM, Blogger channahboo said...

Wow... A tear just rolled down my cheek... beautiful!

 

Post a Comment