No Greater Love

Print this page    

It was a quiet morning in Korea. In a small valley, there was a little wooden building with a corrugated steel roof. It was an orphanage that housed many young children who had lost their parents in the war.

Suddenly, the quiet of the morning was shattered when a mortar shell fell and landed squarely on top of the orphanage. The roof was ripped apart by the blast and pieces of steel roofing were blasted all through the orphanage wounding many of the children. One little girl was hit in the leg by the flying metal and her leg was immediately amputated just below her knee. She was laying in the rubble of the orphanage quietly when they found her. A tourniquet was immediately applied and a runner was sent to the MASH hospital to fetch medical help for the children.

When the doctors and nurses arrived, they begin to triage the wounded children. When the doctor saw the little girl, he realized that her greatest need at the moment was blood. He immediately called for records from the orphanage to find someone with her blood type. A nurse who could read and speak Korean began to call out the names of all the children with the same blood type as the little girl.

After a few minutes there was a group of wide eyed children assembled. The doctor spoke to the group and the nurse translated, "Would one of you be willing to give this little girl your blood?" The children looked shocked, but no one said a word. Again the doctor pleaded, "Please will one of you give her your blood, because if you don't, she is going to die!" Finally a boy in the back raised his hand and the nurse laid him down on a bed to prepare him for the taking of his blood.

When the nurse ask for his arm in order to sterilize the skin, the boy began to whimper. "Relax", she said, "It won't hurt." When the doctor took his arm and inserted the needle, he began to cry. "Does it hurt?", the doctor asked. But the boy only cried louder. "I'm hurting him!", the doctor thought and he tried to ease his pain and comfort him, but to no avail. Finally, after what seemed like a long time, the blood was drawn and the needle was removed. The little boy just laid and sobbed for a few minutes.

After the blood was given to the wounded girl and her condition was stabilized, the doctor was curious. He took the Korean speaking nurse back over to the little boy and told the nurse to ask him, "Did it hurt?"

The boy said, "No, it did not hurt."

"Then why were you crying?", the doctor asked.

"Because I was afraid of dying", the boy said. The doctor was stunned! "Why did you think you would die?" With tears in his eyes the boy replied, "Because I thought that in order to save her you would have to take all of my blood!" The doctor didn't know what to say! Then he asked, "But if you thought that you were going to die, why did you offer to give her your blood?" With tears streaming down his face, he said, "Because she was my friend and I loved her!"