Today, he goes to school wearing a heart monitor. Yes, this strikes fear in that organ for all parents but the little guy?
He is proud of his status as cardiac patient. Really -- you're seven and you get to go to school fully loaded? Bells and wires attached to your very own body? What's not to love! The apparatus is almost as good as a bullet-proof vest.
Merrick has a heart condition which doctors assure the Matron he will outgrow. She's gotten second and third opinions. He has a premature, irregular beat to his plucky pumper which should just mysteriously go away or require 'a procedure' when he's a little older.
So when he tromps into school in two hours, he's the main event - show and tell, with wires and glue strapped onto his scrawny chest so that the doctors can assess if the condition has stabilized, improved, or worsened. She's here to tell you that it's not better than it was a year ago. The heart still thumps along in a markedly strange way.
But the Matron loves the joy that wires bring out in her seven-year old. The only person happy about his status as a cardiac patient is Merrick.
Merrick: "I'm like Rambo!"
If only he could bring a machine gun to school, his life would be perfect. But then he would probably be in jail.
Send good energy to that little engine that could, the tiny heart sustaining a huge, bountiful life --and the Matron's heart is bound up entirely with this one.