Inspirational Story: Get Out of Bed in The Morning

Shayna+and+her+god+sister%2C+Amara%2C+at+a+football+game+in+New+York

Shayna Baker

Shayna and her god sister, Amara, at a football game in New York

Shayna Baker, Staff Writer

Somedays, you just wake up and feel like going right back to sleep. I feel like that pretty much every morning, but I have a special photo frame right on my nightstand that does the job every morning. A picture of my godsister and I will always give me a reason to get out of my bed because she is no longer able to do so.

At a young age, I always knew her as being the “sick girl,” but I wasn’t friends with her because we never had a class together.

My godsister Amara struggled with heart issues since she was about 2 years old. She’s had over 4 open-heart surgeries and transplants.

One day, my mom introduced me to her because she needed someone to walk her to class. From that day on, we became inseparable. Throughout my elementary school years, we did everything together; I was like her personal aid. I always made sure she was okay when we were out or if things were too much for her.

Due to the issues with her heart, she was always excluded from normal kid activities such as jump rope, playing tag, or pretty much anything that would put any kind of pressure on her heart.

Even though she couldn’t participate in things like this, she was still the happiest person ever, and everybody always loved her energy.

Throughout all of elementary school, she was always in and out. She came to school for one month and didn’t come the next month. This was because she always had to go to New York City since there was a certain hospital there that she had to go to. Some Days she’d just go for her treatments and the doctors would discover something else, so she had to stay overnight for them to run tests.

In the month of December in the 6th grade, she was brought to the hospital because she wasn’t feeling well. After analyzing her condition, they confirmed she’d need another heart transplant. She kept texting me about how scared she was because they couldn’t find any veins anywhere else except for her hands.

She was so worried about not being able to be home for Christmas.

After she got a heart transplant, her body wasn’t reacting well to it. She ended up in the hospital for more than a month.

We’d text every single day. I would always tell her about all the drama that was happening at school, and what I learned that day. I always wanted to make her feel like she was still a kid just like us; not someone different.

Christmas Eve came and my mom had told me that we were going on a shopping spree in the city. I was so excited to get some Christmas presents and go shopping. I had fallen asleep on the long car ride there and when I woke up, I read the sign that was ahead of me; it read, Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital.

At that moment, I knew I was going to see my godsister for the first time in almost a month.

As young as I was, I had to be strong for my friend. When I walked into the hospital room, there she was, with all different kinds of tubes, wires, and machines attached to her.

My first instinct was to cry because of the pain she looked to be in. I wanted her to be happy, so I just laid next to her in bed and we talked for hours upon hours upon hours until my mom finally said we had to head home because it was a long ride back. We said our goodbyes and headed home.

Her stay in the hospital for long periods of time became a normal thing for everybody.

Fast forward a year, and my parents decide that they want to move to Florida. Sadly, I got to say my goodbyes to everybody but my godsister, Amara. We still texted every day for a while and it slowly started to decrease.

I wasn’t mad about it, because I knew that it would be hard for us to remain as close as we were if we were only communicating over the phone.

August 20, 2019, was the day I got bad news.

Amara was rejecting her heart and she was brought to the hospital. After a few weeks in the hospital, she had caught the COVID. This made everything worse, considering the shape that her lungs were in. I had reached out to her and hoped that she was holding up well.

That was the last time I spoke to her.

She tried her hardest to be the strong, young girl that she was, but things got to be too much.

About a month later, on September 22, 2019, Amara had expressed to her mother that she couldn’t fight anymore and stressed to her about how tired she is.

As any mom would, Amara’s mom granted her daughter’s wishes. In her mother’s arms, that would be the place where Amara would take her last breaths.

This was the first time a friend of mine had passed away.

I didn’t know whether to be sad that I’d no longer be able to talk to her or to be happy that she was finally at peace. It took me until this year to get over it.

The point of me telling this story was to make everyone happy about waking up in the morning.

People don’t have the opportunities to do that anymore, so I always try to live as my godsister would.

Be happy that you’re able to go to school, get an education, and see your friends; some people are not able to do that.

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