I could only see the world when I lay on the bed. The continuous coughing though made it impossible to even lie still. It shook me and depleted me of whatever little energy that I could muster. Thus, I just laid with my eyes closed, as it is my efforts to get up resulted in blackouts. Eyes shut, eyes open, darkness had become a constant companion. It was comforting but more often than not it induced fear in me. The possibility that tomorrow might never come was definitely scary. I didn’t want to go like this, not at the age of 12, with my 13th birthday being just a week and a half away. There was so much I wanted to do, to learn. Yet life seemed to be running out. I wanted it to stay and made a desperate attempt to hold it but it was slipping from my hand like grains of sand. I was resigned to accept what lay ahead. I had become essentially lifeless, with no sense of time. There was so much pain that a point had come where it didn’t hurt me anymore.
That night, my coughing was extremely bad and jerky movements due to it made my drip come loose. Blood spilled like a waterfall on the floor. A river of red gushed from my bed, threatening to cover the entire expanse of the room. I was scared, my Mom was even more. She was very unhappy, she ran to get the nurse. For the first time in my life, I, a non-believer, said a prayer. I asked God to make my mother and my family happy.
I was discharged on my 13th birthday. A special day, I truly consider it the beginning of a second life for me. The doctors said to my Mom – “It’s a miracle, you should thank God, as we had only 1% hope of her surviving.”
I was weak for the longest time after that and the rashes took forever to disappear. Taking a step to walk felt like a Herculean task. It was an episode I’ll never forget because I was so helpless, so much in pain and so perplexed by the fact that a well known drug heralded as one of the first significant discoveries in the field of medicine, had nearly snatched my life away. I had gone from absolutely fine one day to almost dead the next and back again from death to experiencing signs of vitality in 10 days time.
This episode taught me some of the most important lessons in life, it taught me to be a believer – God existed and so did miracles! It taught me to appreciate my family – my parents and my younger brother. More than anything else, it taught me to appreciate every single moment that life has to offer, whether a happy or a sad one.