A boy scared to get his COVID shot whispered his high-risk friend's name for courage
ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:
Like many of us, 10-year-old Eli McKivigan again has, as he puts it, a...
ELI MCKIVIGAN: Phobia of needles.
SHAPIRO: He really doesn't like them.
ELI: Like, last year or two years ago, I was scared to get my flu shot, and I hid under the water fountain.
MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:
So Eli was not thrilled about getting a COVID vaccine. Here he is with his mom, Meg St-Esprit.
ELI: So when we got there, like, we walked in and, like, I started, like, thinking about it.
MEG ST-ESPRIT: Started thinking about the shot. And then when we got into the room is when we started talking about Brendan, right?
ELI: Brendan. Yeah.
SHAPIRO: Brendan Edmondson, also 10 years old, is one of Eli's best friends. He didn't mind the vaccine so much.
BRENDAN EDMONDSON: It's, like, the smallest needle in the world. I couldn't even feel it.
SHAPIRO: Brendan has Kawasaki disease, which increases his COVID risk, meaning the two boys barely saw each other for most of the pandemic, even though they live two blocks apart.
KELLY: Eli's been worried about him. So when it came time to get that first dose?
ELI: Like, I was like, I can do this so Brendan's safe.
KELLY: He whispered Brendan's name over and over again as he got the shot. Here's Brendan's mom, Jillian Edmondson.
JILLIAN EDMONDSON: When Meg told me that he did that, I was just astounded. I mean, it's just really cool to see a 10-year-old so selfless. And it just makes me wonder why adults can't be that selfless.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: You all together?
ST-ESPRIT: Yeah. Does one of you want to go to this lady here?
SHAPIRO: And this past weekend, Brendan and Eli got their second shots together.
ST-ESPRIT: Oh, you guys can do them literally at the same time.
SHAPIRO: No drama this time.
ST-ESPRIT: Eli, you're done. Woo (ph).
KELLY: And to any other kids or adults who might have that same phobia of needles, Eli has this to say.
ELI: Don't be scared. Be happy. You're helping the world out. You're helping everybody in the world. Bye.
SHAPIRO: And when in doubt, bring a friend.
KELLY: So sweet. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.