Fleming and Churchill

Fleming and Churchill

A British family journeyed to Scotland for a summer vacation. The mother and father were looking forward to enjoying the beautiful Scottish countryside with their young son. But one day the son wandered off all by himself and got into trouble. As he walked through the woods, he came across an abandoned swimming hole, and as most boys his age do, he took off his clothes and jumped in.

He was totally unprepared for what happened next. Before he had time to enjoy the pool of water, he was seized by a vicious attack of cramps. He began calling for help while fighting a losing battle with the cramps to stay afloat. Luckily, it happened that in a nearby field a farm boy was working. When he heard the frantic cries for help, he brought the English boy to safety.

The father whose son had been rescued was of course very grateful. The next day, he went to meet the youth who had saved his son’s life. As the two talked, the Englishman asked the brave lad what he planned to do with his future. The boy answered, “Oh I suppose I’ll be a farmer like my father.” The grateful father said, “Is there something else you’d rather do?” “Oh, yes!” answered the Scottish lad. “I’ve always wanted to be a doctor. But we are poor people and could never afford to pay for my education.” “Never mind that,” said the Englishman. “You shall have your heart’s desire and study medicine. Make your plans, and I’ll take care of the costs.” So, the Scottish lad did indeed become a doctor.

There is more. Some years later, in December of 1943, Winston Churchill became very ill with pneumonia while in North Africa. Word was sent to Sir Alexander Fleming, who had discovered the new wonder drug, penicillin, to come immediately. Flying in from England, Dr. Fleming administered his new drug to the ailing prime minister. In doing so, he saved Churchill’s life for the second time. For it was the boy Winston Churchill whom Alexander Fleming had rescued from the swimming hole so many years before.

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