Giving when it counts

Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusionfrom her 5-year old brother, who had miraculously survived the samedisease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness.The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and askedthe little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister.
I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, "Yes I'll do it if it will save her."
As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheek. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, "Will I start to die right away?" Being young the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her.

Vocabulary Help

  • antibodies - anticorpos
  • ask - perguntar
  • blood - sangue
  • brother - irmão
  • cheek - bochecha
  • deep breath - respirar fundo
  • developed - desenvolver
  • die - morrer
  • disease - doença
  • fade - esmaecer, ficar pálido
  • give (give, gave, given) - dar
  • illness - doença
  • know (know, knew, known) - saber
  • lay in bed - ficar na cama
  • looked up - olhar para cima
  • many years ago - muitos anos atrás
  • misunderstood - mal entendido, entender errado
  • need - precisar
  • pale - pálido
  • recovery - recuperação
  • right away - imediatamente
  • see (see, saw, seen) - ver
  • sister - irmã
  • smile - sorriso
  • start - começar
  • survive - sobreviver
  • think (think, thought, thought) - pensar
  • trembling voice - voz trêmula
  • volunteer - voluntário


Borrowed from