Last Chance

Mohamed Ali is a fighter. So am I. But I fight in a different way. He fights physically, I fight mentally. As an infant I was diagnosed with a rare heart condition called cardiomyopathy. A disease where the muscles in your heart are very weak and can give in at any moment. It has been ten years and I am yet to give in. I know that if I give up, I have let the disease win. That gives me the drive to keep fighting.

I stared breathlessly at the empty white walls of the Freemen Children’s Hospital. What had become of my life? Check ups by the nurses every half an hour, grueling ‘cardio therapy’ every day, drips sticking out of my arms. Why couldn’t I be like the kids I see outside my window? They are tall and confident, with glossy hair. They can run and shout. Me, I’m tiny with dull brown hair and murky green eyes.

“Charlotte your mother is here to see you,” smiled Georgina, one of the Freemen Children’s Hospital’s newest nurses. I sighed. My mother trod in, her eyes had bags under them. I forced a smile. Mum smiled too, it was a tiny unconvincing smile, but it was still a smile. She walked forward and hugged me tight. Her tears dripped down the back of my grey hospital dress. She kept whispering the same thing,
“Never, never leave me.” By the raspy sound in her voice, I could tell she had been crying all night.

Mum had finally found out about the once in a lifetime chance for me to get the lifesaving transplant that I so desperately needed. I had waited ten years for this amazing opportunity. The only thing holding me back was, my mother. She was so afraid, even more afraid than me. She was afraid that I wouldn’t make it, that she would have to go on forever without me. She was not sure if she could give her consent.

I am scared too; I’m scared for my life. I have never been afraid for my life before. I have always been confident that I would leave here someday. But without Mum’s consent there was no transplant and no hope.

I held on to Mum’s hand, gripping my fingernails into her palm. Her pale cheeks were streaked with tears. She snuffled and wiped her nose with the back of her hand. She smiled at me. I smiled back, grimly.

“Ms Robinson you are going to have to leave now” said Dr. Jack pulling on his rubber gloves. Mum nodded in agreement. She slowly stood up. She rubbed my hand and kissed me on the cheek. I smiled lightly. As she slowly walked away she turned back and hugged me. And for the first time in years, I truly hugged her back. My new life was beginning.

FOLLOW US was established in 1997, and since then we have successfully completed numerous short story and poetry competitions and publications.
We receive an overwhelming positive feedback each year from the teachers, parents and students who have involvement in these competitions and publications, and we will continue to strive to attain this level of excellence with each competition we hold.


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