We Are America

Voices of the Nation's Future

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Photo ofElodie McCalum

There I was on the ground, confused about what was happening after a drastic occurrence. This day was one of the scariest days ever. I’m 12 now, but I was 8 when I fainted. It started out as a normal Sunday. I was at church, and everything was just fine. The actual church for adults was done, so my grandma, my little sister Brooklee, and I were going to the kids’ class. Everything was going great; I was having fun, and so was Brooklee. It was closer to the end of the hour, and we all made cookies. At the end, I started not to feel great. Soon, I got really dizzy and got scared. I couldn’t control my legs. My fear grew. I was so dizzy that I went backwards, hit a door knob, and fell down. I sat there for a few seconds and then got up. I went over to my grandma and said, “I can’t see.” My grandma looked like she was scared too. Her face was as white as a sheet. She helped me up the stairs, we got outside, and down I went. I was only out for a few seconds. “Brooklee, go get help!’’ I heard my grandma say in a shaky voice. When I got up, I was so confused about what was going on. My grandma helped me inside and put me on the couch. I was surrounded by people I didn’t know. I thought this was maybe a hoax. I was just making myself think I fainted, but nope—this was all real. There I was, laying on the couch and holding my glasses. Soon, these two men came in; they were both wearing black tuxes. They came to me, put their hands on my head, and prayed. This is called a blessing. My grandma wanted to take me to the hospital, but I said no because I was too scared. After I got the blessing, we went back to my grandma’s house, and I laid on the couch. There I was for a while. Soon, my grandma came in and asked me, “Elodie, are you feeling okay enough to go home?” “Yes,” I mumbled. My parents had been four hours away with my other sister for a basketball tournament, but they came back and were there when I got home. When I was home, all I really did was rest. I had a lot of doctor’s appointments to try to figure out why I fainted. A few days after this happened, I was in such a good mood that we were going to one of my favorite restaurants. Unfortunately, this joy did not last that long. After doing a lot of doctor’s appointments, we found out that I have a problem with my heart. Everything felt so different. For a while, I just lingered around the house. Since this tragic event, I’ve had to go to a heart specialist every three years. I am now 12 and just fine, but going through this, I learned that your family will always be there for you. I know that life can be hard sometimes, but if you talk to your parents, brother, or sister, it will make you feel a lot better. Sometimes, it’s relieving to know you can just go home and talk to your family about your life.

© Elodie McCalum. All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team through this website and we can put you in touch with the young person’s teacher.