Emily took Diane’s hand and followed her outside.
“Thanks, Doctor. I don’t want her to hear what’s coming next.”
I gripped Jonathan’s hand and braced myself.
“Now, where were we?” Doctor Wilson said.
“Can she be treated, Doctor?” Jonathan asked again.
He shook his head. “This hormone is essential for her development. Without it, she’ll continue to deteriorate. I’m so sorry.”
“I don’t understand. There’s nothing at all you can do?” I asked, my mind in a whirl. This was much worse than anything I’d imagined over the past weeks. My whole body shook. I couldn’t absorb what he was telling us.
“No. It’s incredibly rare. There were a number of trials conducted a few years ago. Attempts were made to transplant from a living donor, a similar procedure to a bone-marrow transplant, but on each occasion the donor died within twenty-four hours. The trials were stopped.”
“What if I donated mine?” I said, grasping at any possibility, my mind racing.
“Even if you could donate yours, it wouldn’t work because, although you do still produce Proteum, you no longer produce the quantities needed for the development of a young girl. Anybody over the age of twenty-five won’t produce nearly enough.”
“Do the donors have to be a match, like with a bone marrow transplant?”
“No—but we’re getting way off track here, Mrs Lyons. The trials were stopped.”
“What about someone who’s already dead, or dying?”
“No. The Proteum needs to come from a living brain to be viable. I’m being purely hypothetical now as I know you’re trying to understand. If a potential donor is brain-dead, the Proteum won’t be viable either.”
“So in other words, my daughter is going to die,” Jonathan said, in a flat, matter-of-fact voice.
“I’m afraid so, Mr Lyons—and I’m sorry.”
Hearing the words spoken out loud made my head spin. “How long?” I asked, my teeth chattered, I was shaking so much.
“How long until she dies? How long do we have?”
“It’s hard to say, as the symptoms vary from person to person. I suggest we do some more tests in two months. It will enable us to see how quickly she’s deteriorating and give us some idea of what to expect.”
I wanted to scream at him—for his pompous, no-nonsense answers—for his calm manner—for his rotten lying mouth. But instead I felt my shoulders sag. An empty hole in the very centre of my being grew larger and more painful by the second. This couldn’t be happening.
About the Book
Author: Netta Newbound
Local vets Victoria and Jonathan Lyons seem to have everything—a perfect marriage, a beautiful five-year-old daughter, Emily, and a successful business. Until they discover Emily has a rare and fatal illness.
Early trials show that a temporary fix would be to transplant a hormone from a living donor. However in the trials; the donors had died within twenty four hours. They have no choice but to accept their daughter is going to die.
When Jonathan is suddenly killed in a farming accident, Victoria turns to her sick father-in-law, Frank, for help. A series of events present Victoria and Frank with a situation that, although illegal, could help save Emily.
Will they take it?
Netta Newbound, originally from Manchester, England, now lives in New Zealand with her husband Paul and their boxer dog Alfie. She has three grown-up children and two delicious grandchildren.
Twitter – https://twitter.com/nettanewbound
Website – nettanewbound.com