BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Cristina Might drew close to her son. He was listless and groggy after weeks of battling a puzzling illness that had filled his lungs with fluid and, hours earlier, stopped his breathing entirely. A code team had rushed to Buddy’s bedside and jolted him back to life, but now the 11-year-old with the broad smile was gray, his eyes unable to focus. His mom leaned nearer still. It was time to say goodbye.
But Cristina’s words to her son, a brown-eyed boy who loved dolphins and his aquarium, offered no hint of her desperation: “I was telling him it was all going to be OK, that his fishies couldn’t wait to see him again and that he had to hurry up and come home.”