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Real Story

Verge of death


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Photo by: EdiblexArt

My name is Erin. I am a simple person with an ordinary life and a small family.  My mom, dad, my brother Andrew and I lived simply and happily until April of 2009, when Andrew was staying home from school with a sore throat and stomach pains. After my friend’s birthday on April 6th, Andrew was beginning to look weaker and weaker.  His skin was changing color, and he could barely stand. Finally, Dad decided Andrew needed a trip to the emergency room. Two to three hours later, I received a call from my parents, who told me Andrew’s kidneys were shutting down, along with his liver and his heart. Andrew was on the verge of death.

Mom told me to head home and pack a bag for their stay at the hospital. Throughout the whole conversation, I could hear the sirens of the ambulance rushing him to a more advanced hospital for what could be his last chance at life.  I spent the cold, rainy night with them.

The next morning I went to school like it was any normal day. I took all my normal classes and cried a little whenever I was alone. When people asked why my cheeks were tear-stained, I told them the whole story. Later in the day, my dad came to take me home. At that very instant, I thought of every possibility. “Andrew could be dead”; “Andrew could be in a coma”.“Where was my brother that I grew up with?” Dad took me home to get clothes and things I wanted to have with me for the possible month or more I would be away from home. He told me to pack some black clothing, just in case. In the meantime, Dad was planning a funeral.

When I arrived at the hospital, a youth counselor for the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit came to meet with me. She showed me a baby doll covered in wires, tubes and needles. It didn’t appear as frightening until I walked into the set-aside room that contained Andrew’s lifeless body; I cried. Andrew’s room was dark and filled with death. There were no windows and only a glass door that led to the other hopeless rooms. I couldn’t bear to see the brave brother who always supported me when I was younger trapped by medicine and wires. The doctors had officially put my brother into an induced coma. He couldn’t move, or even breathe on his own.

Later, the doctors announced that they may have to amputate Andrew’s feet. My heart shattered. Andrew had always been a long-distance-marathon runner. I didn’t want to see his dreams get crushed by this unexpected illness.  Andrew was in a coma for over 14 days before they lowered his amount of morphine and other medicines. Finally, he was awake and aware of where he was. He couldn’t talk or even eat normally because he was still having a machine breathe for him.

When Andrew was able to stand up again, his feet were black from the toes to halfway up his feet. Eventually, Andrew had two toes amputated and lost most of the nail beds on his feet. He had the help of nurses and my parents to have him walk with a wheelchair behind him. It took him a while to rehabilitate. Within the next two weeks, Andrew was moved out of the Intensive Care Unit into the regular pediatric floor and back home to his family.

Now, Andrew is back to running his 12 or more miles a day and is caught up in school, but I will never forget that I can lose him, or everyone else, at the snap of my fingers. Now, I will cherish every moment I have with the ones I love until the vanishing point of time.



  • avatar2

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    wow. that is an amazing story

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