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Monday, October 17, 2011

First Page Mondays: My Heart Stopped Beating: A True Story, Teen Survivor Memories of Horror Mad Houses in Italy by Chamed

As part of the First Page Monday initiative here on The Book Worm, here's the first page from the book 'My Heart Stopped Beating: A True Story' by Chamed (not the registry office name of the author though). This is a complimentary review copy and has not been purchased.

'A short time after my first birthday, when I was fourteen months old, I had to get vaccinated. My mother took me to the hospital.

After the injection my mother asked the doctor: "Is it normal that my baby is so weary? She doesn't articulate any words, she looks very tired."

"Yes, it's all okay, today she will just have a slight temperature."

Mon brought me home. Dad had gotten home earlier than usual, to help mom make lunch. When we arrived, my dad took me in his arms and said, "How did it turn out, my darling? Did my little pet cry?"

"No, she was a good child, and don't worry, the doctor said she is all right, perhaps she'll have a slight fever, nothing to worry about."

"I think she is ill, she cannot stand up, she's not saying anything and she's not responding to any stimuli."

Mon tried to reassure dad, repeating that it was the effect of the vaccination, but Dad wasn't convinced at all.

"Darling," Dad said to Mom, "I don't see any light in her eyes, she is expressionless. I'll bring her to the hospital!"

Mom, grumbling, agreed.

During the trip to the hospital, there was only fear and dismay, which were tightening their grip. Dad, looking carefully, said: "I knew it! That's the end."

What was happening to my body? My forehead was burning, the cold of my skin was penetrating into my bones and blocking all of my movements. In Mom and Dad's eyes, panic was growing. Time seemed to slow down. A sense of......'

- Debolina Raja Gupta