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.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.