The Nada Chronicles, part 48
By Hans Brockhuis
Translation: Nora Pelgrims and Layla TwoMoons
Both teams, lined up and stood facing each other as the greeting yells roared over the field and the over-crowded stands. The fans had gathered, radio and TV stations were present, the business seats were filled. Nobody wanted to miss anything of this annual top meeting between the two biggest rivalling hometown teams with both of them in their own town and each with their own support, their own ‘tribe’ to represent themselves.
The field players were in position; the pitcher and the catcher were sharply focused, the first batter was geared up in his box, the referee yelled: "play ball", and the game was on. The pitcher wound up and threw the first ball over home plate without the batter responding. "Strike One", the referee observed.
Three months before Mike had been chosen for the first time to play with the standard team. He was young, seventeen, but because of his exceptional talent, willpower and many hours of training, he had succeeded at this young age to make it to the team. His rather considerable skills at bat, but most of all his fieldwork and his amazing proficiency at the short-stop position, had made all this happen.
Yet, his younger years were not promising
at all. Right after birth, the paediatrician found a little ‘rush’
in his heart and further research revealed only one functioning
lung. An artery for the right lung was missing. So it seemed that
his life ahead would be, physically speaking, not very active. Mike's
school career passed on with ups and downs. During many years he
had to miss almost one week each month of school and he lost track
of the many visits to hospital which often extended to long periods
of time. For that reason, he wasn’t able to catch up at school and
had to repeat classes a few times. Additionally, he was often bullied
and beaten by classmates for no apparent reason.
If you really want to accomplish something, one of the criteria is that your family, all around you, stand strongly and unconditionally with you. This certainly was the case with Mike's parents, and more than that. They made it very clear to coach John that the ambitions of their son seemed impossible in the short run, but that they would do everything in their power to help him. That was their goal anyway. They intended to move heaven and earth to prepare their son for an ‘as good as it can get’ future and were very aware that his ambitions would only help in accomplishing that.
The cardiologists and internists at the hospital were not hopeful, though. They pointed out that in theory, a lung transplant and a simultaneous heart operation, would be possible. Yet, much depended on the availability of a donor lung, the commitment of a surgical team, the necessary finances and Mike's condition for surgery which to date wasn't optimal for the known reasons.
Mike's father surfed the internet to
investigate all possibilities. He faltered at a vast amount of alternative
healers who without exception, didn't see much light at the horizon.
None of them considered themselves competent enough to further Mike's
oxygen absorption and in that way lift up his constant oxygen debt
or even slightly improve it, to brighten Mike's future.
Yet, all of this didn't seem to be enough. The big reversal came after a dream where Mike -although initially he found this rather weird- seemed to be in direct contact with his grandfather who had passed away two years earlier. During that dream, grandpa assured him that if he really wanted, he would play the great finale in the metropolis in four years time and that he should hang on to this thought.
Afterwards, Mike noticed that his condition
kept improving and a massive check-up at the Academic Hospital two
years later showed that the so called Ventricle Septum Defect; the
hole between both the heart chambers through which oxygen-poor venous
blood formerly flowed into the arterial oxygen-rich bloodstream,
had closed itself spontaneously. Moreover, the lung tissue of the
remaining lung had been significantly improved.
Again, two years later, he was ‘scouted’ by the metropolitan baseball team. A nice contract was put before him which he, together with his brightly smiling and proud coach John, scrutinized thoroughly. They agreed that he and dad Wesley would take up negotiations with the ball players organization, so Mike could concentrate on his game. Until the day of the big match, he was lined up - to the great satisfaction of his field coach and other team players - as a short stop against lower opponents. And finally on the day of finale, against the huge competitor from H., he was again in the line up! For this occasion, placed in the outfield, with the possibility to move on to the short-stop position, if the weak arm of that player wouldn't make it to the end. The dream he once had about his grandfather, which Mike had not forgotten but always had taken with a grain of salt, had come true!
And the game itself? That reads itself
as a young boy's book, with runs and home-runs for and against.
During the first four innings the team from H. is ahead. Then Mike
moves to the short stop position, where he throws a few fabulous
double-plays whereby each time two opponents are out of the game.
Eventually they win the championship. It is a victory for the entire
team to which Mike has made a great contribution. On the way to
the top, discipline is crucial. Even if this top is just a nice
feeling. And you bet that with this championship, this tasted like
more in a very extraordinary way.