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Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow.
More and more as I near the end of my career as a heart surgeon, my thoughts have turned to the consideration of why people should suffer. Suffering seems so cruelly prevalent in the world today. My gloomy thoughts probably stem from an accident I had a few year ago. One minute I was crossing the street with my wife after a lovely meal together, and the next minute a car had hit me and knocked me and my wife. She was thrown into the other lane and was struck by a car coming from the opposite direction. During the next few days in the hospital, I experienced not only agony but also fear and anger. Over and over I asked myself why should this happen to us? There were patients waiting for me to operate upon them and my wife had a small baby to look after. As a doctor, I have always found the suffering of children particularly heartbreaking especially because of the total trust in doctors and nurses. They believe you are going to help them. If you can’t they accept their fate. What I witnessed in the hospital one morning opened my eyes to the fact that I was missing something in all my thinking about suffering. What happened that morning was that a nurse had left a breakfast trolley unattended. And very soon two children took charge of it—a driver and a mechanic. The mechanic provided motor power running along behind the trolley with his head down, while the driver seated on the lower deck, held on with one hand and steered by scrapping his foot on the floor. The choice of roles was easy. The mechanic was blind and the driver had only one arm. They put on quite a show that day. Judging by the laughter and shouts of encouragement from the rest of the patients, it was a great entertainment. Let me tell you about these two. The mechanic was all of 7 years old. One night his mother threw a lantern at his father, it missed him and broke over the child’s head and shoulders. He suffered severe third degree burns and lost his eyes. His face was a mass of flesh. When I stopped by him on that day, he said, “You know we won”, he was laughing. The driver of trolley I knew better. A few years earlier, I had successfully closed a hole in his heart. He returned with a tumour of the bone. A few days earlier, his shoulder and arm were amputated. After that event that day he proudly informed me that the race was a success. The only problem was that the trolley’s wheels needed to be oiled. Suddenly, I realised that these two children had given me a profound lesson in getting on with the business of living. This business of living is the celebration of being alive.
1. How did the doctor react to his accident?
2. What is his attitude to the suffering of children?
3. What happened to the ‘mechanic’?
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