Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at
Stanford 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 transfusion from her 5-year old
brother, who had miraculously survived the same
disease and had developed the antibodies needed to
combat the illness.
The doctor explained the situation to her little
brother, and asked the 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
As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed
next to his sister and smiled, as we all did,
seeing the colour returning to her cheeks.
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
Being young, the boy had misunderstood the
doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his
sister all of his blood.