Sunday 23 June 2024

Little Emily Clark

Little Emily Clark  - Listen and Read - Scroll down for audio.

I heard the following story a long time ago. It's a story of miracle, luck, and good chance. A story that moved me. Something I've never forgotten.

Vienna, the summer of 1973. I was having tea with the Clarks. I was a family friend. And, the Clarks had 4 very nice children. Nicola and Roger who were 18 and 19, and Emily and Peter who were twins. And, they were still very young. In fact, only 6. And, the following story was all about Emily and Peter.

The Clarks had recently moved back to Europe from Africa. Noel Clark, the father, had worked there as foreign correspondent and was now doing the same in Vienna. And, this story I'm about to relate had taken place 4 years previously whilst the Clarks were still living in Africa.

It was a hot afternoon down in Africa. An old friend of the Clarks had dropped in for tea. A doctor from London. He was passing through on his way down to the Cape. An international medical conference in Cape Town. The doctor and the Clarks had been friends for a very many years. In fact, they had even been to school together. And, now it was afternoon teatime in Africa. Marion Clark made the tea and everyone sat down for tea. That is to say, everyone except little Emily.

Little Emily was up in her room. She was not feeling well. And, then, when the doctor enquired how little Emily was, it was Peter, Emily's twin, who spoke.

Little Emily cries very much, she's tired all the time, she never wants to play, and, she never eats supper. And, there's one other thing, my sister looks kind of blue”. The doctor stopped eating. He was taken to Emily.

The very next morning, Emily and her mother were on the plane back to London. And, it was all thanks to Peter. In his innocent way he had accurately described the symptoms of Emily's condition. A hole in the heart. And, there at the airport in London and waiting for them was an ambulance. There wasn't much time. Speed was important.

The operation took place that very same night. It lasted more than 8 hours. And, 3 days later Emily woke up. She had come through.

And, 6 other little children were treated for the very same thing that week. Only 2 survived. Emily and one other child. Emily had been very, very lucky. She'd had a Guardian Angel. And, Emily's Guardian Angel was Peter her twin. It was Peter's innocent words that had saved Emily's life.

This is a story I've never forgotten.  A doctor on his way to a conference, little Peter's innocent remarks, and a plane that was leaving. Good chance, good luck, and very good timing. All three at the very same time.  A coincidence?  Who knows?  But, I believe there was something more. Something much higher.

And, I often wonder what happened to Emily. It was, after all,  a long time ago. The afternoon we had tea in Vienna.