story talk

True Instances Of Decency: Shoutout This Week To Cara A

boy who saved his sisters lifeThe shoutout this week is to reader Cara A., who left a comment on ‘The Boy Who Saved His Sister’s Life’ story:

“This story was in Reader’s Digest about 50 years ago. It’s now been posted as a current happening, by some “doctor” on twitter, and is making the rounds on tumblr.

Sadly, fakery at work – which detracts from true instances of decency in life.”

Thanks for your comment Cara. That’s too bad about the Twitter “doctor” though.

I can’t say that I’m surprised someone is out there doing that however. The lure of social media attention is too much for some people and it brings out their worst nature.

The Boy Who Saved His Sister’s Life is a beautiful story, even though it is short it can change a person for the better simply by reading it.

I didn’t know that it was in Reader’s Digest though, and 50 years ago at that!

Since I posted the story here years ago (wow…was that really in 2013??) people have written in every so often asking about the history of it. Maybe it’s time soon for me to do some more digging into where it came from.

If anybody knows what Reader’s Digest issue it was in, or any other info/versions of the story let me know. Leave a comment below or write me

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Inspirational Story: The Boy Who Saved His Sister’s Life

The little boy may have saved his sister’s life, but what he asked the doctor afterwards revealed a different side to the story…Picture of a boy to illustrate this inspirational story.


There once was a brother and sister that hated each other, a lot.

In fact they fought almost every day and hardly ever had a nice word to say about the other one. That is, until one summer when they both came down with a rare disease and got too sick to say much of anything.

Over time the boy’s immune system was able to develop the right antibodies to overcome the disease, but his sister wasn’t so lucky. She was fading fast and no one expected her to survive much longer on her own.

The doctor who had been treating her sat the little boy down and explained the grave situation to him, asking kindly if he’d be willing to give blood to his sister. To the doctor’s surprise, the boy seemed to hesitate.

Picture of a hospital to illustrate this inspirational story about a boy and his sister.

The boy looked down at the floor and his thoughts seemed very far away. It was some time before he snapped out of it, then he took a deep breath and said

“Okay. I’ll do it, if it’ll save her.”

After hearing this the doctor and nurses wasted no time and immediately got the blood transfusion procedure going.

With wide eyes the boy lay in the hospital bed next to all the machinery and watched as his red blood flowed through the tubes, out of his body.

Later on he watched as his sister in the bed next to him received the blood, and he could plainly see that the color was returning to her cheeks where before they’d been so pale. He smiled at her, but then became very afraid.


Picture of a doctor in a surgeon's mask to illustrate this inspirational story about children who overcome illness.The boy turned to the doctor and said in a trembling whisper, “C-c-can I ask you a question?”

“Of course, anything,” said the doctor.

“I was just wondering,” said the boy, “…will I start to die right away?”

On hearing that, the doctor almost dropped the clipboard he was holding.

You see, the little boy thought that agreeing to the blood transfusion meant that he had to give *all* his blood to save his sister’s life. He thought now the transfusion was over that he would surely die.

Luckily the boy got good news from the doctor (who was wiping tears from his eyes —like everyone else in the room that heard what the boy said) who told him he wasn’t going to die. After that day both he and his sister made a full recovery and they were even able to leave the hospital in time to enjoy the last few weeks of summer.

The best part about it though is that the two have been the best of friends ever since :).