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The Waiting Room by Alison Cheung

Posted in Uncategorized on Thursday, 22 November 2007

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William Harvey and circulation of the blood

We were sent this remarkable story by Alison Cheung, aged 10. By way of allusion, rather than illustration, here also is an illustration of William Harvey who first properly understood the role of the heart.


One, two. One, two. I sat there, with one hand over my heart, feeling the weak beats that emerged from within. Why? Why me? It wasn’t fair.

Life isn’t fair.

My life was hanging in the balance since I was born. A purple, little, slimy alien, my heart was all wrong from the start. It was weak. It was an old, tired heart which barely had the strength to pump my blood around my body. Eleven years I had always been watching, never doing. Never been able to run or jump or swim that long… never being able to escape a day without at least one person whispering ‘that’s the girl who’s going to die when she’s thirteen’. I don’t want anyone pointing their filthy fingers at me and feeling all sad and sorry for me.

No-one can help me now.

Except Dr Dunbar.

That’s why I’m here now. Waiting for his diagnosis. Waiting to see if I can live.

Live or die.

Die or live.

He’s my only hope. Mum and Dad gave up on me years ago. I was simply a nuisance – my appointments to all the heart doctors and specialists was all too expensive. They started to add up to more than they could afford, so they dumped me.

Quite frankly, I would’ve done the same in their position. Imagine, nine months waiting for a healthy, beautiful daughter and ending up with an ugly, weak little alien. I don’t think much of myself. No-one does. Always neglected, never praised. No friends. No family.

Just this diligent, dedicated Dr. Dunbar. Heck, I thought angrily, staring at the glass clock that hung on the wall. I’ve been waiting nearly half an hour here in the waiting room, waiting to see if I can live!

I don’t have anything so why should I go through all this trouble? Why?

I stood up. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I caught the doctor’s door opening. I was tempted to go up to him and hear my fate, but then my mind clouded with doubt.

Just go…

Just go…

What should I do? Should I accept a life which really is not a life at all because I am always looked down upon, or shouldn’t I bother? I would go to a better place after my thirteenth birthday.

What should I do?

What should I do?

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