It was Saturday, May the 4th, just minutes before the doctors were to pull the breathing tube from Daniel’s best friend. The Growen family was in the hall outside the ICU, grandparents, uncles, aunts, everyone, about to come in but giving Tony’s best bud a few last moments alone. Daniel was crying. Very hard. He took Tony’s lifeless hand in his own and a thousand questions and confusions raced through the boy’s head. Most of all, though, he wanted his friend to wake up. More than anything in the world, he wanted his best friend back! This thought over and over repeated itself in Daniel’s head. Live, he thought. Live, Live, Live. And it was then, Daniel traveled into a deep, dark place inside. A place he had not been in a very long time, not since he was a small boy with a different name. It was indeed a dark place, filled at the moment with sadness and loss and pain, but there was comfort in that place nonetheless, some strange comfort in the dark silence, and Daniel saw finally a light. A sharp, bright light, small in the deep, dark silence of his mind. And there was a small boy, a four-year-old boy covered in mud and standing in front of this bright light. And Daniel Copper the teenager asked of this boy who he was. And the small boy, covered in dark mud, sadness coming from him through the light, responded with only a word… “Live!”
And Tony’s hand then moved. And Daniel’s eyes opened quickly. He was back, inside the ICU, back in the world, and stood up quickly. He touched Tony’s hand again, but it did not move. He then squeezed Tony’s leg, just above the knee. And Tony’s leg moved! He pinched Tony’s forearm, and the forearm swung across the body as a defense reaction! At this, Daniel leaped from the room, and yelled, “He’s alive!”
At first, the doctors thought it was just reflexes, common to some coma patients. But upon further testing, they realized Tony was in fact making purposeful movements. Tony struggled to remove the breathing tubes. The doctors were still pessimistic, suggesting that Tony, regardless of his breathing and reacting, would be virtually brain dead, unable to lead a normal life of any kind. Far too long had passed without any blood flow to the brain to sustain any sort of reasonable intelligence. A few days later, Tony opened his eyes, and the day after that, he had spoken. Within the week, he was talking and eating on his own, and continued to completely recover.
There was no reasonable, medical explanation for what had happened to Tony. There had been no precedent, no prior incident in which a man or woman had lost complete blood flow to the brain for several days and was then able to make a full recovery. It was, medically, theoretically impossible, and would give new hope to future victims of similar incidents. Though, those close to the family at the time of his awakening knew that it may have had nothing to do with medical precedent at all and might not in fact give any hope to future patients. As they were certain, most of them, that one factor, unique in this case played the crucial role: Daniel.
Five weeks after entering the hospital, Tony left the ICU and walked out of the front doors to a warm reception of onlookers and local reporters, all of whom had nearly reported the boy’s death in their local obituaries just a month earlier. Daniel was at this friend’s side. Though only one among the crowd suddenly paid more attention to Daniel than to his miracle friend… Chester Goldsmith, among the crowd of reporters, left New York for the Rocky Mountains, always hunching for a story of any sort on miracles. And now, the famed author faintly recognized the teenage boy next to Tony. A boy he’d not seen in several years, and the whole scene began to make sense.
And this is really where Daniel’s story begins…
TO BE CONTINUED