When Lu Lingxi’s family arrived at the hospital, Su Lang was already there. He had read Pan Xiaobao’s case in advance. The good news was that Pan Xiaobao’s condition was a good fit for Su Lang’s research, but there was another problem: Pan Xiaobao was a little too young and had been very weak for some time, so Su Lang wasn’t sure if the child could pass the medical examination and meet the recruitment requirements for volunteers.
Before Lu Lingxi and the others appeared, Su Lang had already spoken to Pan Liang in detail about the risks of the trial. As this was a new drug, they had no prior experience, and the length of the course of treatment and the dosage of the drug was entirely a matter of trial and error. Due to the complexities of the human body, they couldn’t rule out any unknown side effects or after-effects. Before the trial, they would have all volunteers sign an informed consent form and they would be exempt from liability for any accidents during the trial. Of course, during the trial, volunteers could discontinue the trial at any time without any reason. No one, including the doctor, had the right to interfere with the volunteer’s choice. The whole trial was free of charge and all expenses were borne by the laboratory itself.
Su Lang seriously said to Pan Liang, “Although I am confident in our laboratory’s research, many of the risks are unpredictable. If Mr. Pan is not psychologically prepared enough, I would actually prefer to suggest that Pan Xiaobao be treated conservatively first and wait for a suitable bone marrow transplant.”
Pan Liang was a little hesitant; it wasn’t that he didn’t know what Su Lang was saying. But he had consulted the doctors and suitable bone marrow wasn’t that easy to come across. Some patients had been waiting for years, and might not be able to wait until they died. And even if they did, for various reasons, the other party might not be willing to donate. According to the doctors, they had one last option, to have another child. This child had a high chance of being a successful match for Pan Xiaobao. But what if it didn’t work out? All their energy was already focused on Pan Xiaobao, what about that child?
These questions made Pan Liang hesitate. Su Lang didn’t say anything more, but just told Pan Liang to think about it carefully.
When Wang Shuxiu came over, Pan Liang breathed a huge sigh of relief. He had so much pressure built up in his heart and he didn’t know who to talk to. His wife was just as stressed as he was, having lost twenty pounds in less than a month, and he couldn’t bear to pass that stress on to his wife. His parents and brothers all were alienated from him because of the matching. Like a drowning man clutching at straws, Pan Liang rambled on and on to Wang Shuxiu about his hesitations and dilemmas, hoping that Wang Shuxiu and Xiao Feng could help him decide what he should do.
The three of them whispered in the corridor as Yan Yue and Su Lang stood at the entrance of the ward talking about the progress of the experiment. Lu Lingxi was the only one who was fine, holding the Transformer he had bought for Pan Xiaobao and sitting gently beside the child.
“Brother, have you come to visit me?” Pan Xiaobao asked in a delicate voice. Because of his illness, he was now very thin and his voice sounded weak as he spoke.
Lu Lingxi nodded and placed the Transformer in his hands next to Pan Xiaobao’s pillow.
Pan Xiaobao flashed a smile at Lu Lingxi and whispered, “Thank you, Brother, I like it a lot.”
Lu Lingxi curved his eyes and tenderly reached out to touch Pan Xiaobao’s face, saing softly, “It’s alright, Doctor Su that Xiaobao saw just now is very powerful, he will definitely cure Xiaobao’s illness.”
Pan Xiaobao’s eyes lit up, “Really?”
Lu Lingxi affirmed, “As long as Xiaobao takes his medicine obediently.”
Pan Xiaobao nodded vigorously and promised, “I will be good and take my medicine.” He said and held up his hand, “Brother, let’s make a promise?”
Lu Lingxi raised his hand and repeated the gesture Su Lang had taught him before, touching Pan Xiaobao’s thumb with his thumb gently and smiling, “Look, we have agreed that you will definitely be cured.”
At the door of the ward, Su Lang turned around unintentionally and froze in place. He looked at Lu Lingxi’s smiling face, and the scene before him overlapped amazingly with the scene in his memory. Su Lang was in a bit of a trance; he had seen the shadow of that boy in Lu Lingxi many times before, but never once had he felt that the two were so similar, it was almost like the same person. And that action… Su Lang closed his eyes slightly; he thought he might be crazy. He actually really thought that Lu Lingxi might be that boy. The same name, somewhat similar looks, and even the same warm feeling the young man gave when he smiled.
Su Lang couldn’t say exactly what was going on in his heart; that young man’s death was his demon, making it completely impossible for him to continue to stay at the hospital. The reason he was so passionate about the experiment was that apart from some vague things like ideals and values, he wanted to atone for his sins in this way. Su Lang had always felt that they, the doctors, needed to take a lot of the blame for that young man’s death. If his family carried 60% of the blame, the remaining 40% was on the doctors. Without their connivance in disregarding the young man’s health time and time again and acting as accomplices, the young man wouldn’t have died on the operating table in the end.
“Su Lang?” Yan Yue noticed Su Lang being out of breath. He followed Su Lang’s line of sight and frowned slightly.
“Sorry.” Su Lang withdrew his gaze, somewhat bewildered, “What were we just talking about?”
Yan Yue gave him a deep look and said, “The lab needs to get the State Food and Drug Administration’s drug clinical trial approval.”
“Right.” Su Lang nodded, “We’ve already submitted the application, but the approval has been delayed from Zhongjing. People suspect that Hopewell is behind it.”
Yan Yue quickly said, “Leave this matter to me, I’ll find a way.”
Su Lang was a little distracted and couldn’t help but turn his head again to look at Lu Lingxi in the ward. Yan Yue’s eyes darkened and he was about to say something when there was a sudden quarrel beside them in the corridor. Perhaps it wouldn’t be appropriate to call it a quarrel, it was more like the doctor lecturing Pan Liang.
“How can you, as a parent, be so irresponsible? Ah, testing a new drug? A new drug that has no reputation at all and no guarantee whatsoever, and you dare to let your child try it? Are you Pan Xiaobao’s father or not? Do you understand the seriousness of leukaemia? If there was really any medicine that worked, could the hospital not let you use it?”
Pan Liang was reprimanded by the doctor and was so embarrassed that he didn’t know what to say.
Wang Shuxiu listened with some discontent. Although the doctor had good intentions and was acting in a responsible manner, he had gone too far in saying this about Pan Liang. Pan Liang was just a desperate man looking for help, and in the end, he was just trying to cure Pan Xiaobao. What about him not being Pan Xiaobao’s father? This statement was simply poking Pan Liang in the heart. Wang Shuxiu’s eyebrows went up and she was about to say something on Pan Liang’s behalf, but Xiao Feng hurriedly stopped her. Pan Liang had not yet decided whether to participate in the new drug trial or not, and if he didn’t, he would still have to continue his treatment in the hospital. It was not good to fall out with the doctor.
Su Lang and Yan Yue walked over. “What’s going on?” At the same time, there was another old voice.
“Old Director.” The doctor stopped mid-sentence, greeting hurriedly.
At this moment a tall, thin, somewhat stern looking old man walked over. The old man gave the crowd a serious look and said, “What’s going on here? Is there a problem with the treatment? Or is there some difficulty?” He said as his eyes fell on Pan Liang. Pan Liang was the only one in the crowd with a scruffy beard and a haggard appearance, and at a glance he was a family member of the patient. “I am a doctor here. If family members have some questions, you can talk to me about any problems you have, I will definitely help you solve them if I can.”
“Old Director, it’s not…” The doctor was anxious to defend himself.
“Grandpa Zhao?” Lu Lingxi walked out when he heard the bickering outside, somewhat confused by the situation.
“Xiao Xi?” The old man was a little surprised to see Lu Lingxi, “Xiao Xi, what are you doing here?”
Lu Lingxi walked over and stood next to Yan Yue, signalling with his actions that they were all together.
The old man’s expression softened and he asked again, “What is going on?”
Pan Liang looked at the old man and then at Su Lang, explaining what was going on. He spoke in a confusing manner, but the old man still caught the key point and became interested in the new drug trial Pan Liang was talking about. The old man followed Pan Liang’s line of sight and looked at Su Lang, “Young man, did you come up with this new drug? It just so happens that I also studied these things before I retired, so tell me what the situation is.”
“Old Director.” The doctor from before was a little aggrieved.
The old man gave him a look, patted him on the shoulder and instructed, “Xiao Yu, come along and listen to this, we as doctors are most afraid of being stuck in our ways. It is the patients who will be delayed then.”
As the old man invited everyone to his office, Xiao Feng whispered to Lu Lingxi that he felt there was no need for him and Wang Shuxiu to go there. They could as well use the time to go to the first floor to register and see if they could get in line for a check-up. He had whispered it to Lu Lingxi, but he didn’t know that the old man had sharp ears and immediately said after hearing that, “Don’t bother going to the first floor. I have an old buddy coming over later, he’s a Chinese medicine doctor, let him check her pulse first.”
Xiao Feng pondered in his heart that based on the old man’s status, the person who could be called an old buddy by him was probably not simple, so he immediately smiled politely at the old man and followed him to the office. The old man took two steps behind and deliberately walked to Lu Lingxi’s side, smiling, “Xiao Xi also knows him, that’s your Grandpa Zhang, he’ll be here in a moment.”
Lu Lingxi said “en” and remembered something, “Is Grandpa Zhang’s orchid okay?”
“It’s good. A few days ago, Lao Zhang even said that he would take that orchid for you to take a look at Tiny Garden after the New Year. If he knew you’d come to the hospital today, he would definitely have come over with the orchid in his arms long ago.”
When the old man said that, Lu Lingxi couldn’t help but smile.
As expected, not long after they arrived at the office, “Lao Zhang” as the old man called him came over in a hurry. As soon as he saw Lu Lingxi, he first greeted him with a smile and then began to complain about the old man, “Look at you, Lao Zhao, you didn’t tell me earlier, if I had known Xiao Xi was here, I would have brought the orchid over for Xiao Xi to see.”
Elder Zhao shook his head with a smile and gave Lu Lingxi a look that said, “You see I’m right, right?” He interrupted Elder Zhang’s complaint and gestured to Wang Shuxiu, asking him to check her pulse.
When it came to serious matters, Elder Zhang immediately became focused. He sat upright at another table and asked Wang Shuxiu to reach out, pressing two fingers to Wang Shuxiu’s wrist. He didn’t speak and no one in the group dared to speak, even Su Lang, who was talking about the new drug trial, subconsciously lowered his voice.
“There’s nothing wrong with your body, just that you’re pregnant, so you should take care in the future.”
With the old man’s shocking words, the whole room was stunned.