I read a book as a child. I summed it up and added a few details.
“Mr. Weston the doctor will see you now.” The nurse hung up the intercom.
Even though Sam was really nervous, he started to laugh at the fact that the lady called him Mister. That was his Dad’s name.
It was October 31, 1973, and 9 year old Sam Weston was in the hospital, about to go into surgery. He had to have his tonsils removed.
He followed his parents to the doctor’s office in the back of the hospital.
“Alright son.” said the doctor. “Whoops, my mistake. I was told a 9 year old named Sam was coming here for surgery. You’re as big as I am.”
Sam laughed. “I’m only nine!” He thought it was hilarious that the entire hospital thought he was an adult.
The doctor checked his clipboard. “Hah! Tonsil surgery? Is that what your parents said you were scared of? Let me tell you something Mr. Weston, tonsil surgery is not scary at all. It won’t hurt but just for a second. Have you ever fallen on your knees?” Sam nods. “Well it’s about as painful as that. I had my tonsils removed when I was your age. Nothing to be scared of.”
Sam felt a little bit better.
“Uh oh. Looks like we have some news. We don’t have the tools for your special case. We traded them in for some new and improved tools, but they have yet to arrive. What we are going to have to do is keep Sam here over night, and get some equipment from the hospital in Memphis. When they arrive, we will do the surgery. He’ll probably be asleep when it happens, so that means no pain.”
Sam sat quietly while his parents sorted out all the details. They checked Sam into his room and left to the waiting room, where they would stay until Sam’s surgery.
The nurse helped Sam into his bed, and got him a juice. He looked over to the right and saw another little boy. “Hi I’m Sam. But you can call me Sammy.” The boy didn’t move an inch.
Sam looked at the nurse for some help, she whispered to him. “Tommy’s very upset. He’s got a big surgery tomorrow.” She saw Sam’s interest and whispered even quieter. “They have to cut off his foot.”
“My name’s not Tommy.”
The nurse looked sad.
A few minutes passed, Sam was drawing in his coloring book. The nurses had left so he could sleep.
Tommy looked over at Sam. He pointed to a comic book Sam had on the bed.
“Spider-man is my favorite.”
“Mine too!” Sam then tried to shoot a web at Tommy’s face. Tommy looked at him.
“What are you here for?”
With that, Tommy turned over.
A few minutes passed by in complete silence. Tommy broke it.
“Do you like to sleep?”
Unlike most kids, Sam loved to sleep. He thought that the quicker he slept the more he could play the next day.
“Yeah! My mom tries to wake me up for school, but I can’t ever hear her. She always says I could sleep through an earthquake.”
Tommy turns out the light and turns around. Sam takes the hint.
Sam has a bad dream that night, he dreamed his was falling down a big hole, and then he hit the bottom. His legs broke when they hit, and he was suddenly in bed at the hospital.
“We have to cut it off”….
“Mr. Weston the doctor will KILL YOU NOW.”
He then sees a small boy with a clipboard in his hand. The boy picks up the clipboard at the end of Sam’s bed, and places it on his bed. He swaps them. Sam is scared for a moment and screams.
He wakes up. Tommy is sound asleep. It was all a dream.
Sam then goes back to sleep.
“Quick. We need to get this kid on some anesthesia.”
Sam wakes up. He is being rushed down the hallway in the hospital. The lights flicker above him. Sam looks at the surgeons, he hasn’t seen them before.
Sam realizes this is it, he’s about to get his tonsil’s out. His parents said he could have ice cream afterwards.
Sam thinks about what kind to get when one surgeons pushes through the door to a room with one chair in it.
“Ok Tommy. Put on this mask, it’ll help you fall asleep.”
Sam is shocked. “My name’s not Tommy.. It’s Sam.”
One surgeon checks the clipboard. “It says Tommy right here son.”
He was right. Sam looks down and sees the name Tommy Whitton.
“My name’s not Tommy! It’s Sam!”
“Yeah, they said you would say that.” The surgeon puts the mask on Sam.
Sam is freaking out. His screams become silent as the gas makes him sleepy.
He has one last glance up the hallway. Tommy is standing outside the door, smiling.
Sam cries as he falls asleep.