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Deadline:midnight!

2006-07-23 16:51

  " The mall1? Really, Mom?" 13-year-old Michelle asks her mother as her sister Nicole, three, looks on. " Absolutely," Patricia Williams smiles. " You girls deserve some fun, and I need to get out of the house." Patty2, 43, rarely ventures from her Raymond, New Hampshire, home. Not with diabetes3 destroying her kidneys4 and pancreas5. Not with dialysis6 treatments every five hours. Not with the phone call she'd been waiting four years to receice——the call that would summon her for the double organ transplant she so desperately needs to live——the call that could come at any time." There," Patty grins, " Let's go have an adventure!"

  2:30 Before leaving, Patty phones her firefighter husband Gary. But there's no answer. Patty and her children arrive at the mall. " Whoa!" Patty laughs, forgetting in the excitement to call Gary. " We'll get to everything. We've got plenty of time……"

  3:05 Gary returns to the fire house. Just as he's about to phone home to check on7 Patty, the beeper8 goes off 9! " We've got a match10!" Patty's doctor says. " But she's got to Charlotte, North Carolina, by midnight." Gary's heart gallops11 as he calls home. " Why doesn't she answer?" Gary cries, dialing again and again.

  4: 05 Gary worries at the fire station. He's booked four tickets on both of the two flights to North Carolina, a 6 p.m. from nearby Manchester or a 7:25 p.m. from Boston——an hour away. Where are you Patty? With still no answer, Gary hangs up and dials the police department. He and his firefighter buddies phone local stores  and malls.

  5:10 Now, as Patty and her daughters cruise12 the packed food court, the mall loudspeakers are squawking13 an announcement. But amid the yakking14 shoppers and squealing15 children, Patty doesn't hear it.

  5:45 Gary realizes it's too late to make the Manchester flight. And if we don't find Patty soon, we won't make the Boston flight either, he agonizes16. " What are we going to do?" he groans in despair. The fire chief suggests, " We'll call the media!" Soon, every TV and radio station in the area is broadcasting Gary's plea17 for help. It seems as if all of New Hampshire is looking for Patty.

  6:40 Patty still hasn't returned. Come home, Patty! he pleads, glaring at the driveway.

  7:00 It's too late! Gary panics18. Suddenly, he hears the sound of tires crunching on grave! " Patty!" he cries. Spotting her car pulling into the driveway, he calls the fire department. " Get that helicopter here!" he shouts. " She's home!" Patty spots Gary racing toward her, a frantic look on his face and suitcases in his hands! " What's happening?" she cries in confusion. " Your organs!" Gary blurts19." They're waiting for you! But we've got to get you to Charlotte! Now!" Patty freezes20.Helping Patty into the helicopter, Gary asks the pilot, " Can we make it to the airport in time?" " We will now," the pilot smiles. " Your fire chief got the airline to hold the plane!"" Thank God," Gary sighs. " You hear that, honey?" he says to Patty." You're going to live!"

  7:37 The plane takes off. Patty gazes down at the lights below and thinks, Bless all you wonderful people who helped me get my life back!

  10:50 The plane lands in North Carolina——in plenty of time for Patty to make her deadline.

  After a 10-hour operation, surgeons tell Gary the transplant couldn't have gone better——the organs were a perfect match! Today, Patty is home recovering, and her doctors say she should live a full and normal life. " I live with the knowledge21 every day that I am alive because so many people cared," she says.

  "去商场?真的吗,妈?"13岁的米雪儿问。她妹妹,3岁的尼科尔在一旁看着。"一点不错,"帕特丽夏·威廉姆斯笑着说。"你们俩女孩该玩玩了,我也需要出去走走。"43岁的帕蒂难得冒险从新罕布什尔州雷蒙德市的家里走出去,因为她的糖尿病正在损坏肾脏和胰腺,因为她每隔5小时要透析,因为她4年来一直在等待一个电话——等着接受急需的救她命的双器官移植——这个电话随时都可能打来。"好了,"帕蒂咧嘴一笑,"咱们去冒一次险吧!"

  2:30在离家之前,帕蒂给她当消防队员的丈夫加里打电话。但是没人接。帕蒂和孩子们到达商场。"哇!"帕蒂笑着,兴奋得忘了给加里打电话。"我们一样样来。我们有足够的时间……"

  3:05加里回到了消防站。正当他要打电话询问帕蒂的情况时他的寻呼机响了。"我们有了相配的器官!"帕蒂的医生说。"但是她必须在午夜之前到达北卡罗来纳州夏洛特市。"加里给家里打电话时心急如焚。"她怎么不接呢?"加里大声说道,一遍又一遍地拨打。

  4:05加里在消防站干着急。去北卡罗来纳州的两趟飞机他各买了4张票。一趟是下午6点的,从附近的曼彻斯特市出发,一趟是7点25分的,从波士顿出发- -离家有一小时的车程。帕蒂,你在哪儿?仍然没有人接电话,加里只好挂上。于是他拨了警察分局的电话。他和消防队的朋友们则给当地的商店——以及商场打电话。

  5:10当帕蒂和女儿们在拥挤的食府中穿行时,商场的喇叭里正在大声播放一个通知。但是四周都是大声说笑的顾客和尖声喊叫的孩子,帕蒂没有听见通知。

  5:45加里意识到赶曼彻斯特的那趟班机已经来不及了。如果不快点找到帕蒂,我们可能连波士顿的那趟班机也赶不上了。他极度痛苦。"怎么办呢?"他嘀咕说,感到非常绝望。消防队长建议说:"咱们给媒体打电话!"很快,当地的每个电视台和电台都在播放加里请求帮助的声音。仿佛整个新罕布什尔州都在寻找帕蒂。

  6:40帕蒂还没有回来。回来吧,帕蒂!他心中乞求着,眼睛盯着门前的车道。

  7:00来不及了!加里要急疯了。突然,他听到车轮胎在沙地上摩擦发出的嘎吱嘎吱的声音!"帕蒂!"他大叫。一发现她的车进入车道,他就给消防署打电话。"让那架直升飞机到这儿来!"他大声叫道。"她回家了!"帕蒂发现加里朝她跑过来,脸上充满了焦躁,双手提着箱子!"出什么事了?"她迷惑不解地大声问道。"你等的器官!"加里脱口而出。"它们等着你呢!但是我们得带你去夏洛特市!立刻动身!"帕蒂一下子呆住了。加里一边帮着帕蒂登上直升机,一边问飞行员,"我们能按时到达机场吗?""现在能,"飞行员笑着说。"你们消防队的上司已经通知航空公司让飞机等着!""感谢上帝,"加里舒了一口气。"你听见了吗,亲爱的?"他对帕蒂说。"你有救了!"

  7:37飞机起飞。帕蒂凝视着下面的灯火,想着,感谢这些好人帮助我重新获得生命!

  10:50飞机在北卡罗来纳州降落——离帕蒂必须在午夜之前赶到的最后期限还有好长的时间。

  经过10小时的手术后,医生告诉加里移植极为成功——器官完全相配!如今,帕蒂在家中休养。医生说她应该能过完全正常的生活。"我知道,我活着的每一天都是因为有那么多的人曾向我伸出援助之手。

  注释:

  1.mall n.商业区,商业大街

  2.Patty n.帕蒂(Patricia的昵称)

  3.diabetes n.[医]糖尿病

  4.kidney n.[解]肾,肾脏

  5.pancreas n.[解]胰(腺)

  6.dialysis n.[化]透析

  7.check on 察看,检查,调查

  8.beeper n.寻呼机

  9.go off 发出巨响,被发射

  10.match n.相配的物,配对物

  11.gallop vi.疾驰

  12.cruise vt.缓慢行驶于

  13.squawk vt.大声叫出

  14.yak vi.[俚]放声大笑

  15.squeal vi.发出长而尖的叫声

  16.agonize vi.感到极度痛苦

  17.plea n.请求,恳求

  18.panic vt. 感到惊慌

  19.blurt vt.冲口说出

  20.freeze vt.呆住

  21.knowledge n.知晓,理解

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