5am. Just as the birds have decided on which song to sing to welcome the day, she barges into my bedroom, crying.
“Muuum! I can’t breathe!” she gurgles, a hand held to her nose.
Thanks to many years of being woken up by a child running into my room in the middle of the night like the bogeyman has come to visit, I automatically wake up, ready for action.
“What happened? Did you throw up again?” I ask, dreading the answer. I’ve also had years of practise scrubbing carpets in the middle of the night.
A mumbled response followed by a deep cough which sounds like a knife wound to the gut. There’s a slippery wet sound to it as blood collects in the throat.
Her next words confirm my gut instinct. “By dose ith bleedin’,” she chokes.
Her little body comes into focus and I notice the droplets down…
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