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by brom21
Rated: E · Short Story · Emotional · #2178761
A doctor seeks a way to cure a cancerous preteen he loves deeply.
Jared Norton applauded with the rest of the congregation for the choir of Northridge Chapel. Everyone rose to file out of the rows and leave and he was approached by his colleague Dr. Stephen Barnes.

“Hey Jared. How are you?”

Jared tilted his head. “Eh, so so. The hospital administrator may need me to do a double shift today.”

“I’m not surprised. How did you like the service?”

“It made me think,” said Jared. “Giving to those who can’t return the favor is quite the gesture. It could especially pertain to our church; almost ninety-five percent of us makes over six-hundred-thousand dollars a year.”

“Very true. It makes me almost guilty that I’ve never given to the less fortunate – at least not directly.”

Jared shook his head. “There’s also the fact of where the offering money really goes. The pastors and deacons have pretty elaborate homes and cars. It makes me wonder.”

Stephen nodded. “Well we’d better head to the hospital.”

Jared went to his Jaguar and Stephen to his Corvette. They drove to the Mountain View Hospital that was twenty minutes away. Both parked next to each other and made their way to the fifth floor by elevator.

The two stepped out with smiling faces. “Good morning Doctors,” said a blond receptionist.

Then a nurse with sad upturned eyebrows walked up to Dr. Jared Norton. He was fearful at what that meant.

“Nurse Bryant, please tell me this is not about Johnny.”

Bryant took a sigh. “I’m afraid so Doctor.”

Dr. Norton rushed past her to room 513. He took the folder out of the door slot and his heart sank. According to the chart; eleven year old Johnny Smith’s heart cancer had gone to level four. Jared didn’t know why he cared so much for him. And if things went as they were, Johnny would die a slow painful death in two weeks.

Dr. Norton walked to his bedside. Johnny was asleep. What could be done? Jared began to sob.

Dr. Barnes walked by him. “I’m so sorry Jared. He means a lot to you.” He put a hand on his shoulder then left.

Dr. Norton wasn’t a very spiritual man but he believed the Bible and was moral. He prayed silently. Lord, I’m not a very pious man, but please have mercy on this child. He’s a special kid. I’ve never asked for anything. I’m asking now – please!

The state of things was about to get worse; he had to tell his mother Ruth Smith. Just then Nurse Bryant spoke from behind him. “Doctor, Mrs. Smith is here. She wants to see her son.”

He ran his palm down his face and wiped his tears. “Send her in.”

Three minutes later, a woman wearing jeans and a blue sweater with short blond hair rushed inside. “How is he Dr. Norton?”

“He’s reached level four in his cancer. There’s not much more we can do.”

The woman began to cry. She cupped her hand on her son’s cheek. “My sweet Johnny.”

“I’ll leave you alone,” Dr. Norton said.

Soon it was time for the dejected doctor to go on his lunch hour. He went to the staff garden and sat on a bench. All he could do was sulk. Halfway through his break, he saw some colleagues in a circle with excited and shocked faces.

Jared was curious and approached them. “What has you all so excited?”

“One of them, a tall thin balding man examined Jared’s name badge. According to a classified report, a chimp with brain cancer was cured! It’s called Project 33.”

“What! How?”

“By a simple injection,” answered another doctor with slicked back hair.

“Where is the report?” asked Dr. Norton.

“A report from the surgeon general was given to the hospital administrator. Dr. Price and Dr. Lens here overheard two of the board members discussing it.”

Both of the eaves dropping docs were beaming proudly. One of them spoke. “They plan to try it on a human subject in two years.”

Jared ran inside to his office and called the secretary of the Surgeon General. “Hello? Get the surgeon General and tell him it’s about Project 33.”

Within minutes the General came on. “Who is this?”

“I’m a doctor at Mountain View Hospital. I have a test subject for you.”

“How did you find out about the project?”

“That’s not important. What will it take for the injection fluid to be transferred here in the next three weeks?”

“Whoever you are it would take lots of money and secrecy. I know you care but it can’t be done.”

“What if it’s off the books?”

“Illegally you mean?”

“You’re the Surgeon General. You have the means.”

Jared spoke another silent prayer. Oh, Lord let him say yes. After some silence the General spoke up. “Very well. Now you’ll only get enough for one person. It will cost approximately ten-million dollars to make one vial.

“I promise I’ll come up with the money.”

“And who’s speaking?”

“Dr. Jared Norton.”

“I will order your administrator to give the vial to you to decide who to test it on.”

“Thank you sir! Thank you!”

Never had he felt such joy and happiness. The next two days went fast until he was given the vial by the administrator.

As soon as it fell into his hands, he rushed to Johnny’s room and administered the solution into his arm. Next was to wait. He gave the drug three days until he checked Johnny. It had abated to level three! Four days later, it was at level one. Then on one wondrous Friday, Dr. Norton gave Johnny’s mom the news.

“Praise Jesus! It’s a miracle! Thank you doctor Norton.”

Jared remembered a lesson he heard from church - a paraphrase of when Jesus spoke that when you give something to one who cannot repay you, you will be rewarded in heaven.”

And the joy Jared got was more than repayment could suffice. It was a miracle.

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