Many years ago, when I was on duty, a heavy patient was brought in.
The nurse in the emergency room told me that I needed to go to the second operating room.
There I saw a girl about six years old, covered in blood. While they were preparing for surgery, I heard that the girl had been in a car accident. She was in the car with her twin brother and her parents.
Everyone else had only minor abrasions but the girl had suffered the full impact and needed urgent surgery. The patient was in a serious condition, with many fractures. Blood had to be transfused because of the high losses.
It turned out that the donor blood supply didn’t have the right blood group. We started testing the parents’ blood – it didn’t match either. The little brother had the same blood type as the girl.
The family was sitting in the corridor waiting for the operation.
The parents were very anxious, the boy was sad too, he was walking along the corridor in clothes stained with his sister’s blood.
I began a conversation with the little boy. Looking into his eyes, I asked him if he wanted to save his little sister. The kid answered in the affirmative. Then I informed him that I needed him to donate blood. I told the boy that the nurse knew how to take blood without pain, there was no need to be afraid.
The baby suddenly became serious. He looked around. Then he said goodbye to his parents, that he loved them very much and thanked them for everything.
The boy with the same serious face went to the room where the procedure was to take place, followed by the nurse.
After the procedure, the boy remained to rest in the treatment room. I went in after the surgery to see him. His first question was whether his sister had been saved. I reassured the little guy that yes. Then the little boy, after a brief pause, asked when he was going to die.
That surprised me. I told him that probably in his old age, long before that. It was only later that I realized the meaning of the question. The boy thought he was going to die when he gave his blood. He was willing to sacrifice himself to save his little sister. That’s why he said goodbye to his mom and dad like that.
I am still impressed by the little boy’s courage. I often remember that tour of duty.