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Tear Jerkers – True Stories From The Medical Blogosphere

There’s nothing sadder than the death of a child. Young hopes and aspirations are snuffed out long before they can ignite their potential. That’s why the Make-A-Wish Foundation is doing their part to make sick childrens’ dreams a reality – to bring a sense of joy and fulfillment to kids whose days are cut short by illness.

I had the chance to participate in making a child’s wish come true earlier this year. I blogged about it here. It was a really moving experience for me and all involved – we helped a young terminally ill boy fulfill his dream of being President of the United States for a day. Amazingly, the White House even provided a real motorcade to shuttle him around. I got to play the role of paparazzi.

An EMT student blogged about another Make-A-Wish recipient whose dream it was to become a fireman. This story is also very touching. Here’s an excerpt:

There he stood, a father watching his son’s fantasy come to life. Sometimes, the deepest pain brings the greatest happiness.

William is usually outgoing and exuberant. Not Saturday. Saturday, he was awestruck.

Powers gave William a badge and the firefighters lined up to shake his hand. As they finished introducing themselves, William lifted the badge a few inches off his lap.

“He’s showing you to let y’all know he’s a fireman now,” said his mother, Marion Bussey.

Powers reached into a bag, pulled out a hat, and gave it to William. Then he gave the boy a shirt and yellow helmet as the rest of the firefighters looked on.

William leaned toward his mother and smiled. “Mom, I like this,” he whispered.

Tears formed in Bussey’s eyes and rolled down her cheeks.

“William is our hero and you guys are his hero,” she said to the firefighters. “He doesn’t have to say he wants to be a fireman anymore.”

What happened next wasn’t scripted. Maybe it was coincidence. Maybe no explanation exists.

William’s parents and the dozen firefighters looked at William and said the same words at the same time: “You are a fireman.”

William lifted his right hand and placed it on his forehead.

“I am William McKay,” he said, “and I’m an official fireman. Thank you.”

Then he saluted.

The firefighters looked at each other, tears welling in their eyes. They began crying. Some left the room. Others dabbed their eyes with tissues. William’s family began crying. Hospital staff began crying. Almost everyone began crying.

But not William. He had no reason to cry. He was the happiest boy in the world.

This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at

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