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Intensive Care This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

On a long, boring day, I was riding with my dad and stepmom, Evie, from East Elementary School, to Columbus, a one hour and fifteen minute ride. It was a Thursday, the day before Mardi Gras and I had to leave early, so that meant I would miss the party. I was going to the Columbus Children’s Hospital to see my cousin, Amanda, who was thirteen years old, two years older than I was.

When we go to Columbus, we found the hospital and parked in the parking lot, I walked in, along with my dad and Evie, walked to the elevator and pushed the “up” button. The doors opened and we stepped inside. I pushed button number three and watched the doors close. The numbers climbed from one, to two, to three, and bing, the doors opened. As soon as we stepped out, I smelled horrible chemicals and disgusting hospital food, and I started feeling nauseaous.


On our way to Amanda’s room, I saw a lot of doctors and nurses, along with wheelchairs and big trashcans in the hall. When I looked into the rooms as I passed by, I saw all the ill patients and saddened families. As we kept walking down the hall my dad spoke up to me saying, “The reason we are visiting Amanda is because she had a major medical problem that needed immediate attention.” Once we found Amanda’s room, I jumped up on the bed where we talked most of the night.


It was not obvious to me that Amanda was nervous at all about the surgery that she would have to undergo the next day. If she would have understood the severity of what was about to happen, she would have never gone to sleep that night. You see, earlier that day when we arrived at the hospital, Amanda’s mom, Vicki , was telling us how they went to the doctor for a stomach pain. During this visit the doctor sad that there was more than pain in her stomach. There was a cancerous tumor next to her stomach, which was much larger than a grapefruit. The doctors called for an emergency surgery for the next morning, if there was any hope of saving her life. They sent her to the hospital right after the appointment.


The next morning Amanda was wheeled away for her surgery. The surgery took over seven and half hours, and then she was wheeled into recovery. The next hour was critical. Amanda’s blood pressure was low and she was weak. There were three nurses buzzing around Amanda the entire time, watching every monitor possible. Due to her critical condition, the only people allowed to visit her were her parents, and then only for several minutes until the nurses told them they should wait in the waiting room.


It seemed as if hours had passed, but the doctor finally came and said she would survive the surgery and that her vital signs were showing improvement.


Amanda remained in intensive care for days. We all hoped for the best that the doctors had removed the cancerous tumor, and that Amanda would be well again. The doctors were very hopeful of the treatment plan over the course of her cancer called Neuroblastoma over the next few months. While Amanda was showing signs of improvement she personally focused on her studies, raising her failing grades to all A’s. Over the course of the next two years Amanda was in and out of many hospitals as her health declined. On April 1, 2005, Amanda lost her fight with cancer. Had it not been for the vast team of doctors detecting the tumor, we would have lost her much sooner.




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