I wish I knew the author of the following story so that I could give credit where credit is due. It was submitted by a student in a Sociology class taught by Dr. Reed H. Bradford at BYU back in the 1960’s. He shared it with other students and I have kept it all these years. I quote:
The violent grinding of brakes suddenly applied, and the harsh creaking of skidding wheels gradually died away as the big car came to a stop. Eddie quickly picked himself up from the dusty pavement where he had been thrown and looked wildly around.
Agnes? Where was the little sister he had been holding by the hand when they had started to cross the street? The next moment he saw her under the big car that had run them down. Her eyes were closed, and a dark stain spread slowly over her little white face. With one bound the boy was under the car trying to lift the girl.
“You’d better not try, son,” said a man gently. “Someone has gone to call an ambulance.”
“She’s not…dead, is she, mister?” Eddie begged in a husky voice. The man stooped and felt the little pulse. “No, my boy,” he said slowly.
A policeman came up and dispersed the gathering crowd. Eddie’s folded coat made a pillow for her head until the ambulance arrived. He was permitted to ride in the conveyance with her to the hospital. Something about the sturdy, shabbily dressed boy who could not be more than ten years old, and his devotion to his little sister, strangely touched the hearts of the hardened hospital apprentices.
“We must operate at once,” said the surgeon after a brief preliminary examination. “She has been injured internally and has lost a great deal of blood.” He turned to Eddie, who, inarticulate with grief, stood dumbly by. “Where do you live?”
Eddie told him that their father was dead and their mother did day work—but he did not know where. “We can’t wait to find her,” said the surgeon, “because by that time it might be too late.”
Eddie waited in the sitting room while the surgeons worked over Agnes. After what seemed an eternity a nurse sought him out.
“Eddie,” she said kindly, “your little sister is very bad, and the doctor wants to make a transfusion. Do you know what that is?” Eddie shook his head. “She has lost so much blood that she cannot live unless someone gives her his. Will you do it for her?”
Eddie’s wan face grew paler, and he gripped the knobs of the chair so hard that his knuckles became white. For a moment he hesitated; then gulping back his tears, he nodded his head and stood up.
“That’s a good lad,” said the nurse.
She patted his hand and led the way to the elevators which whisked them to the operating room…no one spoke to Eddie except the nurse who directed him in a low voice on how to prepare for the ordeal. The boy bit his quivering lip and silently obeyed.
“Are you ready?” asked a man swathed in white from head to foot, turning from the table over which he had been bending. For the first time Eddie noticed who it was lying there so still. Little Agnes! And he was going to make her well. He stepped forward quickly.
Two hours later the surgeon looked up with a smile into the faces of the young interns and nurses who were engrossed in watching the great man’s work. “Fine,” he said. “I think she’ll pull through.”
After the transfusion Eddie had been told to lie quietly on a cot in the corner of the room. In the excitement of the delicate operation, he had been entirely forgotten.
“It was wonderful, doctor!” exclaimed one of the young interns. “A miracle!” Nothing, he felt in his enthusiastic recognition of the marvels of surgery, could be greater than the miracles of science.
“I am well satisfied,” said the surgeon with conscious pride.
There was a tug at his sleeve, but he did not notice. In a little while there was another tug—this time more convincing—and the surgeon glanced down to see a ragged, pale-faced boy looking steadily up into his face.
“Say,” doctor,” said a husky voice, “when do I die?”
The interns laughed and the great surgeon smiled. “Why, what do you mean?”
“I thought…when they took a guy’s blood…he…he died.”
The smiles faded from the lips of the doctors and nurses, and the young intern who had thought there was nothing greater than the marvels of science caught his breath suddenly.
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