Siobhán wiped a shaking hand across her face, attempting to staunch the endless flow of tears that racked her aching body. Kian had undergone multiple operations; to mend bones, to insert support plates and pins, to release pressure on the brain, to insert splints, and to mend various lacerated internal organs. Most had been successful; but the brain operations had not. Kian had sustained serious and extensive trauma as a result of the accident, and his brain had swelled to such an extent that a section of his brain had to be removed. He had been in a coma since the car had hit him; and the seriousness of his brain injuries meant that even if he did wake, he would be permanently paraplegic.
Siobhán took Kian's small hand in her own shaking ones, and turned her gaze to her husband. Tears were leaking out from under his eyelids as he slept, and he was clutching an old teddy bear of Kian's tightly to his chest. Siobhán's breath caught in her throat as she gazed at the teddy; it was a raggedy old toy, it's green colour long faded into a sort of dull grey. One of it's button eyes was missing, and it's black nose was hanging off by a thin thread. Various coloured stitches adorned it's body, battle scars from it's many exciting adventures with Kian. The bear was his favourite toy; he had had it since his first birthday, and it never left his side. Siobhán's vision blurred with fresh tears as the teddy awoke a recent memory.
It was the February before the accident, and she, Ben and Kian had taken a daytrip out to a pet farm an hours drive from home. Kian was having the time of his life, scampering about and chattering excitedly to each of the animals he met. He was having difficulty seeing into the sheep pen, and so Ben had swung his ecstatic and giggling son up on to his shoulders for a better look. Kian, in his excitement, had forgotten that he was still holding Mr. Green Bear, and the poor toy flew from his grasp to land face-down in the muck within the sheep pen.
Well! Siobhán had never seen a child switch from unadulterated happiness to pure devastation in such a short space of time. As soon as Kian realised the fate of his best friend, he opened his mouth, threw his head back, and began to wail. Nothing she nor Ben could do would quiet his lamenting sobs. Distraught by his utter devastation, Siobhán had run to the farmhouse and fetched the farmer, to enter the sheep pen and retrieve the unfortunate teddy. He had done so with an amused smile, and handed the filthy and stinking teddy to Siobhán. She couldn't give the toy back to her son in such a horrid state, but Kian refused to stop crying without him, and so they hurriedly bundled him into the car and drove the hour home. He sobbed relentlessly the whole way.
Upon arriving home, Siobhán quickly popped the filthy ted into the washing machine, much to the protest of her son; and watched in amusement as he sat in front of the machine for the duration of the cycle, dutifully watching the pitiful toy swish around in the soapy water. Then, when she had hung the soaked but clean toy out on the line to dry, he had sat cross-legged underneath it and called up occasionally that everything would be okay.
Siobhán smiled through her tears as she silently recounted the memory. He had been such a lively little boy, full of life and vitality. But that was different now. She felt her heart shatter into tiny, irretrievable pieces as it hit her once again that her gorgeous little boy was gone for good. The life-support machine was keeping his body alive; but all that he was, his sunburst personality and heart full of love, her little star- that was all gone. His soul had left them; all they had left was his shell, an empty husk of their precious child. Siobhán let her grief consume her once more as she finally accepted the loss of her only son.