From a Hospital Bed
Even if I’m dizzy with an aching head, I must not disturb the others in the beds In this hospital ward where not much is said For fear of making a fuss. It’s not much fun with nothing to do Can’t even get up to go to the Loo The doctors come, and ask, ‘How are you?’ It’s hard to tell them which is worse Visiting hours and here’s Dad and Mum Who immediately asks me why I’m so glum. I tell them, ‘The others had ice-cream, but I got none, And, if it was you Dad; you’d curse!’ Patting my hand, Mum says, ‘It’s all right,’ And Dad says, ‘You might get some tonight, Cos you’re looking better, you’re not so white, I’ll go over and ask that nurse.’ Back he comes grinning down the ward, And sits back in the chair without a word, To Mum he whispers so he can’t be heard Then his eyes meet mine, his lips are pursed. The doors swing open; a nurse comes through, Carrying a tray and says, ‘This is for you, You can have some now you are healing like new, To Mum, Dad says, ‘We’ll cancel the hearse!’ I’ve broken no bones, the x-rays prove, But there’ll be a scar and a slight groove Left from the fencepost that failed to move When I fell on it, off my horse With an arm in a sling and one foot on the ground, The other in plaster and my head bandaged round, I’m going home soon, and my horse has been found Across the river, but he’s none the worst. It’s easy to laugh with no aching head And it doesn’t disturb the others in beds ‘There is no need to fear,’ as everyone says, ‘Just ring the bell for the nurse!’
How old might the person in the poem be? How do you know?
How did they end up in hospital?
David Phillip Vetter (September 21, 1971 – February 22, 1984) was an American who was a prominent sufferer of severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), a hereditary disease which dramatically weakens the immune system. Individuals born with SCID are abnormally susceptible to infections, and exposure to typically innocuous pathogenscan be fatal. Vetter was referred to as “David, the bubble boy” by the media, as a reference to the complex containment system used as part of the management of his SCID. Vetter’s surname was not revealed to the general public until 10 years after his death in order to preserve his family’s privacy.
In his first years of life he lived mostly at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas. As he grew older, he lived increasingly at home with his parents and older sister Katherine in Dobbin, Texas. He died in 1984, at the age of 12.
Read the rest of the extract at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Vetter
What difficulties do you think David would have had in his day-to-day life?
Formulate some questions to ask David, using what you have read.