The Life That Never Was Part II

“Oh Conrad,” said Principal Higgs, regaining control of herself, “you aren’t here because you’ve been bad. You’re here because there is something that you are quite good at –soccer. The middle school soccer coach has seen you play at recess, and he says you have great potential. He wanted me to talk to you and your parents about your being on the soccer team. What do you think?”
“You mean actually getting to play on a real team, in real games?!” I asked excitedly. “Oh, I would love to play soccer; will I really get to?”
“Of course you will. That is if your parents want you to,” said the principal looking at my parents. “Conrad’s grades are excellent, and he has a lot of potential, both athletically and academically. If he worked hard and stayed focused, there’s no reason he shouldn’t do just fine.” My parents exchanged a knowing look with one another.
“We have faith in Conrad,” began Dad, “if he wants to play soccer we won’t stop him. But he knows we expect the best grades from him. If his soccer gets in the way of school, he’ll have to quit. It’s up to you Conrad. You can be on the team if you want, but your school work had better not suffer.”
“ I want to be on the team! I want to be on the team!” I implored. “I promise I’ll work hard; my grades will be better than they were this year. Oh, I want to play soccer!”
“Well then, you have your answer don’t you?” said Mom.
I worked hard as promised. All through middle school I played soccer, and I got straight A’s on my report card. It was in 8th grade that I realized science was a class that was really easy, and really fun. Just like soccer was my favorite sport, science was my favorite class, and I excelled at it. In high school things got harder. I continued to play soccer, but I ended up getting Bs in classes like literature and history. All the other classes I could usually get As in. Science remained my favorite class, and when I had the chance I took all the advanced science classes I could. When senior year came, I knew what I waned to do. I wanted to be a doctor. Things were going well. I was happy; my life felt full, then disaster struck.
I was the oldest child in my family, with a younger brother and a baby sister. They were full of life, always running, laughing, and playing. I loved being with them. One day my sister came home from school not feeling well. She had a fever, so my mom gave her some Advil and sent her to bed. The next morning she wasn’t feeling any better, and my brother was feeling sick too. My mom assumed it was just a bug and made them stay in bed for the next two days, but they weren’t getting any better. On the third day, she took them to the doctor, who told them it was just a cold and they had to sweat it out. We found out too late that the doctor was horribly wrong. After a full week of high fevers and sore throats, my mom decided to take my brother and sister to a different doctor. This doctor recommended we go to an ear, nose, and throat specialist. When he examined my siblings, he saw that what they had was much more serious than just a regular cold. Upon further examination, he realized they had viral pneumonia, but it had been allowed to fester, untreated for a full week. In spite of this, the doctor believed it to be highly treatable, given that my brother and sister both had strong immune systems. He was a little bit more worried about my sister because she was only eight years old, and she had been experiencing the symptoms longer than my brother. He was wrong. He should have been more worried about my brother. What the doctor didn’t realize was that my little brother had asthma, which made his lung tissue more vulnerable to infection. The infection never reached my sister’s lungs, and with time and rest she got better. My brother was not so fortunate, and although the doctor’s did all they could, it was too little too late. My 11 year old brother died because he had been misdiagnosed. My family was devastated, but there was nothing we could do. From that day forward, I vowed that I would become the best doctor I possibly could, so that mistakes like that would never be made again. I never wanted any family to have to experience the pain that my family did, when we lost my brother. But I was very blessed even during this difficult time, by a dear friendship. This friendship saved me.(to be continued)

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