Summary of ‘Birth’
(By: A.J. Cronin)
This excerpt is all about Andrew Manson who is newly out of medical college and has just commenced his practice under the supervision of Dr. Edward Page as an assistant in Blaenelly. It also highlights the efforts made by Andrew Manson in saving the life of a newly born dead child who finally gets to life because of him.
At the beginning of the chapter, we find Andrew Manson very sad and monotonous after having a disappointing evening with Christine, the girl whom he loves a lot. On reaching his home, he finds Joe Morgan, waiting for him, whose wife in pains and expecting her first baby after a long time. On a special request of Joe Morgan Andrew Manson goes to his home to help his pregnant wife. Although he is dead tired yet he picks up his bag and reaches Joe’s home with even complaining once.
Joe refuses to enter his house as he can’t see his wife in pains and decides to wait outside till the good news comes. But, Andrew Manson enters the home and finds two other women over there as helping hands i.e. Mrs. Morgan’s mother and an elderly midwife who are sitting beside the patient waiting for the right time. Meanwhile, Andrew is given a cup to tea and he starts waiting for the moment whence he has to start his work on the patient. While waiting, he gets lost in the imagination of the episode that happened at Cardiff station and other married people’s life which is worthless and unreasonable.
At half past three, he is called by the nurse on the top floor. Andrew Manson, without delaying, starts working on the patient incessantly. In spite of working so hard on patient for such a long time, he finds the child born as lifeless when it is born. He hands over the dead child to the nurse and draws his entire attention to Susan Morgan who is breathless as well desperate seeing the lifeless child. He manages to help her retaining her breath after injecting the medicine through a hypodermic.
Now, Andrew Manson pays his all heed to the child who is lying lifeless. He kneels down & finds the child who is perfectly formed with skin of lovely texture but dead. He feels out of wits as he has no idea how to save the lifeless child. Soon he is reminded of the same incident wherein a boy was resuscitated by the team of doctors born in the same scenario at Samaritan. Without wasting a single second, he begins the special method of respiration which makes no difference. He asks the nurse to bring two basins of cold and hot water each. When the water is brought, he starts dipping the child from one basin to another incessantly.
Despite his untiring efforts, the child doesn’t breathe. Andrew Manson doesn’t give up and continues his efforts till the lifeless child is brought to breathing. At last, the boy gets back to life which is seen and announced by the midwife. The child starts crying and the efforts put in by Andrew Manson bring fruit. He, though worn and tired, takes his jacket and goes out of the home without worrying about his bag. He gives this good news to Joe Morgan who has been expecting a child for a long time. Finally, he takes a sigh of relief that he has done something good at last.
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