Many years ago, when I worked as a transfusion volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a little three-year-old girl who was suffering from a disease. The little girl needed blood from her five-year-old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease. The boy had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness and was the only hope for his sister.
The doctor explained the situation to the little brother and asked if the boy would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate only for a moment before he took a deep breath and said: “ Yes, I will do it if it will save my sister.”
As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, seeing the colour returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the nurse beside him and asked with a trembling voice, “When will I start to die?”
The young boy had misunderstood the doctor and thought he had to die to save his sick sister.