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Personal health stories - Page 2

Kisses with Death - Page 2

It was a huge swimming pool, with concrete sides. I was a very slow learner when it came to the art of swimming for survival, and it got the better of me on this particular day.

The kiddy pool, surrounded in Mickey Mouse and friends, just wasn’t quite so appealing to my more adventurous side. The large pool looked so much bluer, so much cooler.

I was ordered to hold onto the metal bar that went down the pool steps. I held on for a while, too, as I bobbed and jumped around excitedly in the much deeper water.

Then, slip went my fingers off that metal bar and backwards I fell into the deep. Down to the pool floor I plummeted, watching the blue sunlight swirl around on the pool walls. To the top and then down once more…I continued my frantic efforts to swim for air.

My sister’s legs appeared, trying to help me back towards the shallows. Frantically, I grabbed onto them, desperate for air but my sister wanted to breathe too and had to shake me off.

“Well…this is it” I thought to myself as I hovered near the pool bottom, watching now in a surreal haze the legs of other swimmers passing by, and how pretty the sunlight looked dancing on the pool floor. I remember accepting that I was going to die and as my body began to float up one more time a streak of blue passed by me as my mother grabbed me up with her saving arms.

After this time I was convinced I was home free on the near death department…I had paid my dues for life in my opinion.

I was fourteen years old and we were leaving to go back to the U.S. for good. My dad had just landed us in our little four passenger mission plane, safely into the airport of Accra. It had been a rough flight and when we all tumbled out the heat outside was at a staggeringly high degree.

My father left to go and hunt down a taxi to take us into town and I remember leaning my head against the side of the plane for a moment to rest. Suddenly I felt an unreal surge of nausea and light headedness.

Moments later I was lying on the ground hearing my mother screaming for people to get help…and the voice of my sister frantically calling my name.

My body was drenched in sweat and I remember I was weaker than I had ever known being before. It was a horrible feeling. My dad had come and I don’t think was aware that I had just had a stroke from the heat. They got me into a taxi and I remember feeling almost lifeless in my body as we drove, completely dazed and disorientated.

We made our way to a gas station where my mom bought my siblings and I ice cream bars to cool off. I stood there with my bar and I remember losing all control of my body as I was beginning to once again black out.

My ice cream fell unknowingly to the floor as I frantically called for my sister to hold me up…that I didn’t want to fall. My sister, seventeen at the time and freaking out over her younger sis’s wide eyed look of terror, held onto me as I temporarily went down onto the floor.

My mom jumped quickly over and they helped me up onto a bench nearby. Nausea washed over me once again as I did everything I could to not black out.

Some of the locals began to laugh as they watched the drama unfold and my mother quickly reprehended them for doing so. I knew my mother would guard me with her very life.

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