Usually an older and wiser individual inspires us, but in my case it is a younger luminary. When my brother was born, I wanted to be his inspiration but the irony of it is, he became an inspiration to me. Inspiration can be found in many forms, for me it transpired through a near tragedy.
When my little brother, Logan, was six years old my mom woke me in the middle of the night. There was a perplexed look on her face and words could barely leave her lips. She managed to utter the unforgettable words, that something had happened to my little brother, and that we were needed at the hospital.
Once we arrived at the hospital, we ran back to the emergency room and immediately went to the side of the hospital bed. I witnessed doctors and nurses repeatedly injecting needles into his convulsing forty-six pound frame. The uncontrolled spasms only seemed to amplify with the lights and sounds of madness going on around me. As I took in the overwhelming occurrence, the only comfort I could find was to crouch in the corner and sob.
Later that morning, Logan and my mom were transported in an ambulance to The Children’s Hospital. They had put us in a room on the fourth floor until they were able to answer more of our questions. They had injected him with so much Dilantin they thought they had stabilized the seizures. My parents kept telling me to just get some sleep but at five in the morning I was wide awake, staring at the corrugated line on the heart monitor and listening to the steady beeps of the machine. It was then that I noticed how labored his breathing was, and after only a couple of hours, we were moving again, this time to the Intensive Care Unit.
Two weeks in the ICU was extremely difficult for my ten-year-old mind to comprehend. Seeing my brother’s lifeless body in a coma, I didn’t know if I would ever get to talk to my brother again. My mom stayed at the hospital with Logan, my dad and I stayed at home but visited every night. They had intravenous lines in Logan’s arm and hooked up many wires to his chest and head. After a while, it became hard to visit him — I didn’t want to remember him like that. My family and friends found that our only hope was to put his recovery in the hands of God. We prayed simultaneously, hoping for answers.
Nine days later, he came out of the coma. The doctors had diagnosed him with Encephalitis, a virus that attacks the brain and causes swelling. The virus impaired his communication, motor skills, and memory. He was then taken to The Children’s Center to begin rehabilitation. I watched him struggle to learn all of the things that he once had done so easily. I witnessed him working with physical, speech, occupational, and music therapists to try to relearn how to be independent. I never once saw his determination waver; he accomplished what I knew he could, even though he still could not vocalize his desires. I witnessed my brother fighting for his life. He never gave up even after many times of failing.
It was approximately three months before my brother was able to speak again. The first words he uttered were, “I love you Sissy.” It was then that I knew I was not an inspiration to my brother but he was an inspiration to me. At times I may feel like quitting or find a path too difficult but then I reminisce on the struggle my brother endured and find the strength to overcome my doubt.