Twelve Minutes


 “Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.” The heart monitor alarmed the nurse’s station at the end of the hall. Her heart stopped beating and she’s not breathing. Anne’s mom woke up, held her daughter’s hand and cried. The doctors rushed inside the Intensive Care Unit and tried to revive her. Her dad rushed in and watched his daughter’s tiny figure rest on the hospital bed, still with no sign of life. He started to cry. That was the very first time he prayed to God for his daughter’s life.

Anne was four years old when she was diagnosed with dengue fever. She was brought in a small hospital but because of lack of proper facilities for treating her, she was transferred to Makati Medical Center. The trip was frustrating for the family because of the risk of losing her. She was fighting for her innocent life.

At last, they arrived at the hospital. She was rushed in the emergency room and then to the ICU. The doctor told her family she made it in time. If they arrive a few seconds later, she could’ve been dead. Her platelets are almost zero. She needed an immediate blood transfusion. They used her mother’s blood. The blood transfusion was a success.

After several days, Anne was already stable but still in the ICU because her body was so weak and at risk for complications.

“Why hasn’t my daughter woken up? What’s happening to her? Please help her!” Anne heard her mother beg.

“We’re doing all we can, ma’am. She’s stable but she’s still not responding to the medicines we’ve given her. It’s best for us to wait and pray for the best.” The doctor responded politely as not to aggravate the situation.

“Mommy, it hurts so much. Please make it go away. Don’t let them take me.” Anne struggled to speak. She spoke with so much pain yet innocently soft. “Don’t worry,” her mother replied. “I’m just here for you, baby. I won’t let them take you.”

Her mom and dad rushed to her side and kissed her cheeks. She looks so tired and more vulnerable when she’s awake so they sang her to sleep.

She’d fallen to a deep sleep because of constant anesthesia and sleeping medicines. It’s so hard to look at the child with so much medical equipments inserted and placed on her. It seems like it’s better for them to let go of her, to take away her suffering. But they loved her so much that they can’t let go that easily.

“Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.” The heart monitor alarmed the nurse’s station at the end of the hall. Her heart stopped. They almost lost hope. After twelve minutes, she was revived. There was only the sound of the ventilator and the heart monitor at the ICU. They all paused and then there was a sigh of relief among the people inside.

For those 12 minutes of agony, Anne’s monitors were flat-lined. Only thing keeping her alive is the ventilator.

She had woken up in a vast field, leaning back on the biggest and oldest tree she’s ever seen. She was so busy adoring the scene when something touched her. She turned and saw a man about 30 years old. “Why are you here?” He asked. “I don’t know,” Anne replied. “Where EXACTLY is ‘here’ anyway?”

“dfuuihjgnsmlkvsjfhggmj. You should go back, you’re not ready.” The guy’s reply was almost inaudible but he mentioned something about paradise. When she turned her head to him, he was gone. She started walking towards the mountains. She thought she was walking for days when she saw a vast lake. She ran towards it and knelt down, ready to drink. Before she could touch it, an old man, about 70 years old touched her hand and said, “You’re still not ready to drink from this lake, princess. Please you have to go back.”

“How am I supposed to go back? Where am I? Who are you?” She’d thrown him so many questions.

“I am Peter, the guardian of this place. Go back to where you came from.”

She closed her eyes for a second and then the man was gone. She started walking and saw the big tree again. She was so tired so she leaned against the tree. A man about 15 years old approached her.

“Why are you still here?” he asked.

“How am I to go back? Is this heaven?”

“Ha-ha, no. This is fgjfktryjctjgjchhfgjhjv.” He replied almost inaudibly.

She was so tired she fell asleep.

“Mommy, daddy… Water.”

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