It’s Good On Paper

, , , , , , , | Hopeless | May 13, 2018

My brother had just finished soccer practice in his senior year and decided to drive his friend home. On the way to her house, a distracted driver ended up rear-ending the two of them into an intersection, where the passenger side was hit by a van going 50 miles per hour. My brother broke four ribs in the crash and managed to roll out of the car. He stood up and tried to make his way back to help his friend, puncturing a lung in the process. Eventually, a bystander managed to restrain my brother so he wouldn’t be injured further. The girl was taken into intensive care, and we didn’t know what was happening with her for a long time.

I was in the same high school as my brother, and I was allowed to take a week off to stay with him in recovery. He was incredibly worried about his friend, and he was starting to get depressed. That’s around the time people started coming to see him. Throughout his stay he had nearly the entire school visit him, both students and staff. The nurses actually had to start getting involved to make sure not too many people were in the waiting room at a time. Each and every person brought him an origami swan.

We learned that the day after the accident the entire school shut down all its activities. Instead, everyone was taught how to make origami swans, which signify health and quick healing. Everyone spent the entire day folding them for my brother and his friend. My brother received over 3,000 swans. When he was finally released and he went back to school for the first time, we found the entire school covered in swans. They were hanging from the ceiling in nearly every room. One of his friends even managed to make a seven-foot tall swan that the school kept in the cafeteria.

My brother and his friend miraculously recovered. Even the doctors were baffled that there was no permanent damage to either of them. My school had those swans hanging in the hallways until the day it shut down. It might be silly to think little pieces of paper could make a difference in a life-or-death situation, but I can’t help but be thankful for each and every one of them.

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