Chapter 7: Extreme Sacrifice
The following morning they hiked back towards the cabin this time for four hours they never let go of each other’s hand. They packed all their things and said goodbye to the wonderful place they stayed for almost a month. Even on the long drive back to the city as John was driving Sheryl did not want to let go of his right hand.
As they reached the city proper John woke up Sheryl. “Can you wait here for a moment, I will just go and check if I have some papers to sign” John told her. Sheryl opened her eyes and saw that they were in front of the hospital. “I want to come in with you” she said. They both went inside the hospital; everyone was smiling at them for they were holding hands. They reached the nurses’ station and everyone there was clapping and cheering for them.
“I knew it you two got married and went on a honeymoon right?” Estella asked them. Sheryl laughed and shook her head. “Hey Estella is there some paper work for me?” John immediately asked. “None whatsoever but he is looking for you, he is at his office” Estella said and looked John in the eye. He at once knew who she was talking about so he turned to Sheryl. “Can you wait here for a moment?” he told her. Sheryl smiled and nodded and John started to walk away.
As John was heading towards his doctor’s office he heard Estella scream out loud. Once he turned his head he saw Sheryl on the floor. “John! She collapsed!!! John!!!” Estella kept screaming and John ran towards Sheryl. All the nurses were rushing towards her, all the patients on the hall started to open their doors and peep outside.
Everything was happening so fast and John’s vision began to blur. “John! John! What’s happening to you both?!!” were the last words John heard and he fell unconscious.
John woke up and opened his eyes and saw Jean sitting beside his bed. “How is she?” John managed to whisper and Jean stood up and looked at him. “She is taken care of, so just rest” she told him. John tried to move but there were restraints on his arms and legs. “Jean why am I restrained to the bed?!” he yelled. “It’s for your own good John so please leave her to us for now, Doctor Cartwright is with her. Doctor Mathews will be here in a short while” she said as she injected some fluids on his dextrose. A few seconds later John fell into deep sleep once more.
A few hours later John once again opened his eyes and there were a lot of people in his room. “How is she?” he asked once more. “She is stable for now” Doctor Cartwright told him. “What do you mean for now?!!!” John yelled and tried to break free of his restraints. “Now John relax, everything is fine” Estella told him. He looked at all the faces in his room and he recognized Jean, Estella, Jeff Mathews and Harry Cartwright. “Why are you all here? Who is taking care of her?” he asked them.
“The other nurses John so please don’t worry” Jean said. “Damnit!!! You four are the people close to me why are you all here? I need some of you to stay with her!!!” he shouted. “John we need to talk” Harry said and the room went quiet.
“Sheryl’s heart has become weaker, now I’m not saying that she is going to die but to be honest with you I would suggest a heart transplant immediately” Doctor Cartwright revealed. “So what the hell are you waiting for then? Go find her a heart! I will pay for it no matter what cost just find her a heart!!!” John angrily said.
“Now it does not work that way and you know that. She is already on the list, we submitted her name this morning” Harry stated. “What number?” John asked. “You don’t have to worry about the number as long as she is on the list John” the doctor said. “What number?!!!” John angrily asked. “Number fifteen” the doctor revealed.
John started to cry and tried to break free. “Remove this things right away that’s an order!” he told them. “John listen to me, she has much more time compared to you” Jeff told him. John calmed down and looked at his doctor. “We have to operate on you as soon as possible” Doctor Jeff Mathews told him. Estella and Jean started crying and John closed his eyes.
“Okay when can I have my operation? How soon will I recover?” John asked. “We can have your tests today and if the results are okay then you will have your clearance by tomorrow. So most probably in three days” his doctor said. “Find do all the tests now and after let me see her” John told the doctor and he agreed.
After several tests were conducted on John he was then allowed to visit Sheryl. The Intensive Care Unit was filled with people, nurses, doctors and even patients who are close to John. Everyone was looking through the glass as Sheryl was waiving at them from the inside. John went inside the room and held her hands. Estella dispersed the crowd outside and nodded at John.
“Sheryl I am sorry, if I didn’t force you to take that trip then you might not have ended that way” John said as tears fell from his eyes. “Shut up you cry baby, come closer I missed you” she said. John could not utter a single word from that point and kept crying. “I will get a new heart soon so hang on to the list and when I get better we will take another trip and finish the list together” she whispered and more tears started flowing down John’s face.
After an hour Estella entered the room and checked on Sheryl’s condition. “John you cannot stay here, you have to go back. You can come back tomorrow morning” she told John. He could not do anything since he knew that was the rule so he bade her goodnight and went back to his room.
The following morning John attended to Sheryl. He fed her breakfast and gave her a sponge bath. They both enjoyed each other’s company as if there was no problem whatsoever. After lunch Jean signaled John to step out of the room and he saw the nurse holding a folder. He knew it was his results so he quickly went to meet her.
“Here are your results; you are cleared for the operation. Shall we schedule it tomorrow?” Jean asked. John looked at the results and looked at Jean. “Can you get me the results of Sheryl’s exams?” he asked her. Jean nodded but looked at him curiously. “Yes but why do you want to see them?” she asked. “Please Jean I just want to see them” he said. “Okay come and follow me then” Jean told him and they went to the nurses’ station.
Thirty minutes later John entered Doctor Cartwright’s office and closed the door behind him. He placed the two folders in front of his desk and the doctor was confused. “So this are your records and her records, what do you want me to do with them?” Harry asked.
“Perfect match, blood sampling, tissue sampling and the rest are okay” John said. Harry’s eyes grew bigger and shook his head. “No way! That is out of the question! You cannot do that and I will not allow you to do that. I swore to you father and mother that I would take care of you so the answer is no!” he yelled at John.
“I stuck my neck out for you several times Harry; all I ask is to exchange our hearts. I will be the one doing the waiting” John revealed. “No! That is not possible! You can fire me if you want; I am not going to do that!” Harry replied. “Please Harry! I beg you please exchange our hearts. She has a greater chance of living with my heart. You know my condition even if my operation goes well; I still have a fifty percent chance of surviving after that. When Sheryl gets my heart and if her body does not reject it then she will live long. So please Harry do this for me” John begged him.
“You are really my stupid godson! Exchange hearts so what if you reject her heart? Or what if you both turn out well but you still end up with a weak heart. And do you think you can recover from your operation with a weak heart? Stupid! Stupid! You are my stupid godson!”
Harry bowed his head and understood the situation but he decided to look away. “I need to talk to Jeff” Harry said and John immediately called for him. An hour of heated argument ensued inside Doctor Cartwright’s office and a lot of people were gathering outside to listen. A moment later the door opened Jeff Mathews rushed out and walked away quickly. John followed but walked slowly and headed towards Sheryl’s room.
John woke up Sheryl and said “I found you a heart Sheryl. You are going to be fine now” he said but Sheryl only managed to open her eyes a bit but she smiled at him. John kissed her on the forehead and went back to his room.