A Lesson In Giving: The Five Year Old Who Saved His Sister

You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give. ~ Khalil Gibran

 
Many years ago, when I worked as a transfusion volunteer at Stanford Hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liza who was suffering from a disease and needed blood from her five-year-old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, “Yes, I’ll do it if it will save Liza.”

As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, “Will I start to die right away?”

Being young, the boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give her all his blood.

Source: This short but powerful story is a modern fable. Absent any known author, it has been a part of the popular culture for nearly a century — in print, on film, and on the internet.  

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