“Mom!” Karen interrupted. “Look! It’s raining and it’s going to be really loud and scary! You know I’m afraid of thunder and lightening. I don’t want to go to the hospital to see Grandma. I want to go home!” While having to visit – yet again 'the patient in Bed A,' eleven-year-old Karen Clark finally manages to temporarily 'escape' the hospital room with permission from her mother to get a drink of water. “Besides.” Karen thought to herself. “The slower I walk the longer I can be gone. . . and I won’t have to hear that stupid storm or see Grandma.” Karen and her IMAGINATION briefly enjoy her ‘freedom’ from Room 426 by imagining using hospital equipment to race up and down the hallway. The fun ends when a nurses’ face suddenly changes into Karen’s Grandmother’s angry face with scolding words. “You stop this foolishness this instant!” Her Grandmother clapped her hands forcefully when she shouted the word ‘instant’. The powerful handclap coincided with an actual clap of thunder that caused a startled Karen to collide into a girl at the water fountain, who ultimately changes Karen's life forever.
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