“Jared and David,” Friend, May 1985, 10
Jared was excited when Mom and Dad brought his new brother home from the hospital. Jared liked to play with his sister, Catherine, but he was glad that now he’d have a brother to play games with.
When he first saw David, Jared could hardly believe his eyes—the baby was so tiny and wiggly! Jared had forgotten that he and Catherine had been little and wiggly too.
“How long will it be until David can play ball with me?” Jared asked his mother.
“It will be a few years yet,” she answered. “But don’t worry—there will be plenty of things to do with your brother before then.”
David grew bigger every day. He and Jared did find a lot of things to do together. They often played computer games. David would watch and clap his hands as Jared’s “good guys” chased the “bad guys” across the monitor. Sometimes they played army men. David would sit in his swing, chewing a soldier, while Jared made battle sounds with the other soldiers. Sometimes Jared would lie down with David to help him go to sleep. Jared was always very careful because David was still small.
Whenever it was Jared’s turn to say the family prayer, he thanked Heavenly Father for David, and he asked Him to bless and protect David.
When fall came, Jared started first grade. He wasn’t sure he wanted to go to school, because he would miss playing with David.
Mom knew how much Jared would miss David, so when Jared came home from school, David would be sitting in front of the picture window, looking out. As soon as he saw his big brother, David would wave his arms excitedly.
One day Mom took David to Dr. Karp. David was always having earaches, and she and Dad wanted the doctor to find out why. When he finished looking at David, Dr. Karp told Mom and Dad to take David to the hospital for some tests. To help him discover what was wrong with David, Dr. Karp called Dr. Filopovich. She was a special kind of doctor who helped children fight diseases.
Before taking David to the hospital, Dad and their home teacher laid their hands on David’s head. Dad blessed David that he would get better.
David was in the children’s hospital about two weeks. The house was very quiet with David gone. Everyone missed him, especially Jared.
Dr. Filopovich went to the hospital and looked at David. She asked Mom some questions, then took a little bit of blood from David’s arm. She took the blood back to her office and looked at it under a microscope. When she had finished studying David’s blood, Dr. Filopovich met with Dr. Karp and Mom and Dad. “David’s blood is not strong,” she told them. “It can’t fight off the diseases that attack him. He needs to have a bone marrow transplant. We need to find someone who has blood just like David’s, only stronger, and take some bone marrow from that person and give it to David.”
Before family prayer that night Jared asked, “Will David die if we can’t find someone who has the right kind of blood?”
Dad put his arm around Jared. “David won’t die,” he assured Jared. “I know this because the Lord witnessed it to me when I gave David his blessing. Maybe one of us has the right kind of blood.”
Jared felt better. But before going to bed, he prayed, “Please, Heavenly Father, make my blood be the same as David’s.”
The next day Jared and Catherine and Mom and Dad went to Dr. Filopovich’s office. She took a little bit of blood from each of them. A short time later she called to say that both Jared and Catherine had the same kind of blood that David did.
Mom and Dad talked to Jared. They told him that they thought Catherine was too young to understand David’s problem and that she would be too frightened to give David some of her bone marrow. They asked Jared if he would be willing to give some of his to David.
“Will it hurt?” Jared asked.
“Yes, it will,” Mom told him. “I wish I could tell you it won’t, but I think you’d rather I told you the truth.”
Jared watched David crawl across the rug. He said, “I want to help David. I asked Heavenly Father to make my blood be the same as David’s, and it is. So I’ll do it.”
Jared loved his baby brother, but as the time to go to the hospital came closer, he was as frightened as he was brave. Mom and Dad hugged him, and Dad gave Jared a father’s blessing in which he told Jared how proud he and Mom and Heavenly Father were of him. He blessed Jared with peace of mind and promised him that it wouldn’t hurt very long.
David was put in a special room at the hospital. Jared and Mom and Dad could just walk in and visit David, but the doctors and nurses had to wear masks and gowns before they could go into his room.
Jared’s room was in a different part of the hospital. Although he had two roommates, he had a dresser all his own, and he even had his own television. The first night he was there, he had wheelchair races with his roommates, and they watched a movie on a huge television down the hall.
When Jared went to bed, though, it was too quiet. His roommates quickly fell asleep, the nurses were busy in other rooms, and his parents had gone home. Jared was lonely and scared until he remembered the blessing Dad had given him. “I bless you with peace of mind,” his father had said. Jared had a contented feeling and soon fell fast asleep.
The next morning Jared got to ride in a wheelchair to the operating room. Dr. Filopovich was waiting for him there. She smiled at Jared and told him that he would go to sleep for a while. “When you wake up,” she said, “it will be all over.”
Jared breathed into a funny thing shaped like a cup and was soon asleep. While he slept, doctors took some bone marrow from his hipbone and sent it up to David’s room, where another doctor put it into David’s bloodstream. David’s heart would send it to different areas in his body, and in a few months David would have stronger blood.
Even before Jared woke up, his body knew that some bone marrow was missing. It began to make some more. In just a few days his body would make enough marrow to replace all that Jared had given to David.
When Jared awoke, Mom and Dad were there, smiling at him. A nurse gave him a Popsicle. Jared asked, “Is it over? Does David have some of my blood now?”
“Yes, it’s all over,” Dad said. “You were very brave and good, and we are very proud of you.”
Jared stayed in the hospital one more night. He hurt a little, but not as much as he’d thought he would. Dr. Karp called Jared on the telephone and told him that the transplant had gone well. He told Jared, “I think David will soon be well, thanks to you!”
Mom took Jared to see David the next day before going home.
“How long will David have to stay here?” Jared asked.
“Probably a few more months,” Mom answered, “until his blood is stronger. But you can come and visit him on weekends.”
Jared held David for a while. “Mom,” he asked, “do you think David knows what I did for him?”
“No, Jared, he doesn’t. But David knows that you love him. When he grows up, he’ll realize just how great that love is.”
The next day was Sunday. Jared’s Primary teacher gave a lesson about the Savior. She told the class that Jesus loved them and that He had suffered for them because He loved them. She smiled and added that they would understand His love better when they grew up.
Jared smiled back at her and said, “I think I understand already. I really do.”