Thursday, April 08, 2010
The Good Classmate
Samantha put her lunchbox back in her school bag. She was always the last person in their 5th grade class to finish lunch. She was slow at a lot of things, but it didn’t really bother her.
Sam squinted in the bright sunlight as she came out of the school building and down the stairs onto the oval. As her eyes adjusted, she could see a big group of kids midfield.
As she approached the group, Sam noticed a soccer ball resting between her and the cluster of kids. Why aren’t they playing? Sam wondered.
“Don’t touch him!” someone said forcefully.
“Henry ran into him real hard!” another voice said.
“I did not!” Henry’s voice came from the middle of the group.
Sam pushed her way through the crowd. She could just make out the body of a boy lyingon the ground. His legs were twitching.
“Somebody help him!” Henry said.
“I’m not touching him,” someone else said.
“Henry, you should help him,” James demanded. “You hurt him!”
“I didn’t run into him,” Henry argued. “He was coming toward me and then he just fell over!”
Sam pushed her way into the middle of the circle. Ignoring the argument, she knelt next to the shaking boy. It was Nigel, the new student from overseas, lying flat on his back, one leg bent uncomfortably underneath him, foamy saliva oozing from his mouth.
The other kids stopped their argument and stared as Sam took hold of Nigel’s shoulder and hip and rolled him onto his side. She sat behind him holding him in position. Only then did she notice her staring classmates.
Sam was calm because she knew what she was doing. She had been listening carefully in first aid class. Nigel was having a seizure. He needed care until he stopped fitting.
“James,” Sam said with confidence, “run and tell a teacher that Nigel is having a fit.”James pushed his way out of the crowd and ran toward a group of teachers.
“Henry,” Sam said, looking up at the accused boy, “You didn’t hurt Nigel. He will be fine in a minute.”
Henry looked very relieved, “Is there anything I can do?”
“Yes,” Sam said. “Keep the sun off his face.” Henry knelt above Nigel’s head blocking the hot midday son. Nigel had stopped shaking and was breathing quietly.
Just then Mr Perry broke through the crowd, breathing hard. Quickly, he knelt in front of Nigel, just as the boy opened his eyes.
“Hello, Nigel,” Mr Perry said gently. “How do you feel?”
“I’m ok,” Nigel said quietly.
“You’ve got some very good friends here,” Mr Perry said.
Nigel turned his head and looked at Sam and then Henry. Tears filled his eyes.
Henry spoke, “Samantha knew what to do. We were scared.”
“Thanks Sam,” Nigel said.
Sam smiled and rested her hand on Nigel’s shoulder, “You would have done the same for me, I’m sure.”
“Well done, Samantha,” Mr Perry smiled. “Our school is blessed to have you!”
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