"BE PATIENT WHERE YOU SIT IN THE DARK.
THE DAWN IS COMING."
"Anyone home?" called Dr Liam Mednick, knocking on the old, wooden door at 4 AM.
On his way to deliver a keynote address at a medical conference, the world's foremost neurosurgeon had suffered a series of unfortunate events.
Firstly, his flight out of London got delayed. Then it had been detoured for an emergency landing due to mechanical problems. As a result, Liam had to hire a car and drive himself to Rennes.
All would have been well if a thunderstorm hadn't caught him in the French countryside. As heavy rains battered the windshield, he quickly lost track of his bearings and ended up on a narrow, unpaved lane. There, the car had gotten stuck in the mud, leaving Liam stranded.
The only good news was a speck of light in the distance. With nothing for it, Liam braved the elements and dashed to the tiny cottage.
Thoroughly soaked, he knocked again.
"Peter, is that you?" called a voice, as the door opened.
"No, ma'am," he replied to the old woman at the door, "I'm Liam. My car got stuck in the mud, and I was hoping to get some help."
"Dear Lord, you're drenched," she exclaimed, "Come in, come in."
Relieved, Liam stepped across the threshold and let himself be guided to the fireplace.
"My name's Mary," said his host, "let me get you a change of clothes. You're just about my son, Jakob's size."
Gratefully, Liam changed into the warm clothes and sat down to a bowl of hot soup that Mary laid out for him.
"You'll have to excuse me for a moment," she said, "I have to attend my son. He's not doing too well. But please, make yourself at home."
Liam had gratefully finished his soup when she came back to him.
"How are you feeling?" she asked with motherly care.
"Much better, thank you" he replied. "If you don't mind me asking, what's wrong with your son?"
Tears welled up in Mary's eyes.
"Jakob has a rare brain condition. We've consulted many doctors, but no one has been able to provide any successful treatment."
The tears escaped her eyes and streamed down her face.
"My husband, Peter, went to Rennes earlier today. There is a medical conference where a Dr Mednick is to make an address. We're told he is the best neurosurgeon there is. He is our last hope for our son. Peter is hoping to convince him to take Jakob's case."
Quiet descended, as the raging storm outside, ran out of steam. An early morning beam of light broke through the clouds and flooded the room.
Liam stood and put a comforting arm around Mary.
"I am Dr Mednick," he said, "let's go see Jakob."