The thoughts were enough to make Vivian tear up. She blinked a few times and tried to suppress the burst of emotion that threatened to overflow. At the same time, she willed herself to be strong for the sake of her mother. After all, she had yet to find out what the results were. There was no sense in scaring herself like that.
The minute she arrived, Vivian hurried to see the doctor who had examined her before.
“What news, doctor? Is my bone marrow compatible with my mother’s?” Heavens above, I really hope that I can save my mother. I have to.
“Have a seat,” said the doctor, who gestured at the chair next to him. “I’ll go into details.”
Vivian sat down nervously and eyed the solemn-looking doctor. She had a bad feeling that she couldn’t quite place but fervently hoped that it was not what she feared.
“The results, doctor?” asked Vivian again. She was so nervous she could burst into tears again.
The doctor sighed, took off his glasses, and rubbed the bridge of his nose thoughtfully. “According to the results, your bone marrow does not match. Unfortunately, you are not a suitable donor.”
As the doctor said this, Vivian’s heart sank. She felt as if the very wind had been knocked out of her chest and found it difficult to breathe. “What can we do, doctor? Is there any other way to treat her?”
“Don’t worry. Your mother is not in danger at the moment.” The doctor did everything they could to comfort Vivian in the face of uncertainty. “This hospital is affiliated with the Red Cross, and we’ve already submitted a request. Once we find a suitable donor for her, we’ll have her operation arranged in no time at all.”
Vivian nodded at the doctor gratefully. “Thank you, doctor. I appreciate you going through all the trouble.”
“It’s okay, that’s what we’re here for. However, I would also suggest that your family look into other avenues privately and seek donors elsewhere. After all, surgeries like this are best attempted as soon as possible.”
Vivian nodded again in understanding. “But doctor, if I may ask, how do I go about doing that? This is something I have never attempted before.” Since Vivian had never had to consider something like this, she had no idea where to start.
“Usually, you can apply for assistance through the local Red Cross, or you can make inquiries at the National Marrow Bank. Given how the internet is so widely used now, you can also try making an appeal on social media platforms.”
Vivian made a mental note of what she needed to do. “Thank you, doctor. I’ll be in touch.”
With that, Vivian bolted out of her seat and prepared to leave. She wanted to start looking for a compatible donor for Rachel as soon as possible. If she was lucky enough in her search, Vivian was prepared to do whatever it took to ensure that the other party would agree.
“Wait a moment, Ma’am.” The doctor stopped Vivian in her tracks, right before she could leave the office.
Vivian turned around to look at the doctor, visibly confused. “Was there something else we had to discuss?”
“Two more things, to be precise. But I need you to brace yourself.”
“What’s the matter? It isn’t about my mother, is it?”
“No, it’s about you this time.”
“Me?” Vivian did not understand what the doctor meant. “Is something wrong with me?”
The doctor hesitated. A slight hint of discomfort flickered across his face as he fidgeted with his glasses again. “The results of the examination have shown us not just the incompatibility of your marrow, but that your DNA is completely different from that of your mother’s. You are not your mother’s biological daughter.”
“How is this possible?” Vivian’s instinctive reaction was to not believe a word she had just heard. “Surely there must be some kind of mistake? How am I not my mother’s biological daughter?”
“The results don’t lie, Ma’am. I think it’s a conversation you should have with your mother.”
Vivian felt a myriad of emotions course through her body, from disbelief to anger, to a pang of intense sadness. This is impossible. How am I not her daughter? Yet, what if it’s true? And if I am not her daughter, who the hell am I?
“There is one other thing. You’re pregnant.”
‘What?” Vivian absent-mindedly reached upwards and stroked her belly. “I’m… pregnant?”