Sarah and the MRI

The author lives in Colorado, USA.

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Maybe the Holy Ghost could help Sarah not feel so afraid.

“When Christ was on the earth, He promised he would send the Holy Ghost to comfort us, our true, eternal friend” (Children’s Songbook, 105).

“It looks like Sarah will need to have an MRI of her back,” said Dr. Frank. He smiled at Sarah. “I’m going to schedule one for tomorrow. I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

Sarah’s back had been hurting for a while. When she woke up that morning, it hurt so much that it was hard for her to stand up straight, and she could barely walk. Sarah and her mom had come to see Dr. Frank to find out what was wrong.

“Another MRI?” asked Sarah, looking up at Mom. She’d had an MRI once before. She remembered how scared she had felt in the big tube that took pictures of the inside of her body.

“I’m sorry, Sarah,” said Mom. “But the pictures will help Dr. Frank learn what’s wrong with your back. I know you can do it. And I’ll be right there with you.” Mom squeezed Sarah’s hand.

“But you can’t come inside with me,” said Sarah. Her head dropped, and a tear slipped down her cheek. Mom could be with her in the room, but once Sarah went into the machine’s tunnel, she would be alone.

Mom put her arm around Sarah. “That’s true, but do you know who can be there to comfort you?”

Sarah remembered a name she had heard for the Holy Ghost: the Comforter. Maybe the Holy Ghost could help her not feel so afraid.

“The Holy Ghost?” Sarah asked.

Mom nodded. “That’s right. You can pray for the Holy Ghost to help you. Dad and I will pray for you too.”

That gave Sarah a great idea. “Can I ask Dad for a blessing?”

Mom smiled. “Of course. I know he’d love to do that.”

That night Dad placed his hands on Sarah’s head and gave her a priesthood blessing. When he blessed Sarah that she would be comforted by the Holy Ghost, a soft warmth filled her body. The feeling stayed with her all night.

The next day Sarah lay on the bench that would slide into the big tube in the MRI machine. She repeated in her head the words Dad had used during her blessing: The Holy Ghost will be there to comfort you. Sarah squeezed Mom’s hand tight. Then the nurse slid her into the tube.

The MRI machine made funny noises while it took pictures of her back. Sarah had to lie very still so the pictures wouldn’t be blurry. She panicked for a minute, but then she felt that warm feeling again. It felt like one of Mom’s hugs. Or a snuggly blanket. She knew that everything would be OK. Before she knew it, the MRI was over!

In Dr. Frank’s office, he showed Sarah and Mom the pictures of Sarah’s back. “You did a great job lying still,” Dr. Frank told Sarah as he knelt down beside her. “These pictures of your back show that you will need surgery to help you walk better.”

Sarah gulped.

“We’d like to do the surgery soon,” Dr. Frank said, looking up at Sarah’s mom. Then he turned back to Sarah. “It might take a few weeks afterward for you to feel like your old self again, but after seeing you today, I know you’ll do great.”

Sarah tried to think about all the things she’d do after Dr. Frank fixed her back. I’ll be able to run and swim and jump in a big pile of leaves. She missed doing all those things. But surgery was even scarier than an MRI! Then Sarah remembered her prayers and her special blessing. Heavenly Father had sent her the Comforter. He would help her again.

She looked at Dr. Frank. “Then can I jump in a big pile of leaves?” she asked.

He grinned. “Then you can jump in a big pile of leaves.”

When I was five, I needed surgery to get my tonsils and adenoids taken out. I was really nervous and afraid. My dad gave me a blessing. After the blessing, I wasn’t nervous anymore, and we were both happy because we felt the Holy Ghost.

Analise F., age 6, Utah, USA