Piper plans the perfect birthday for her four-year-old. But he collapses just after blowing his birthday candles. At the hospital, the Doctor says that there’s poison in her son’s system. What poison and how did it get there?

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Piper buzzed with excitement as she woke up. Her son was turning four, and she, alongside her husband, Brian, planned to give him a dream birthday party. She glanced at Brian, who was still sleeping, and thought of their son, Daniel, who inherited his father’s looks.

She tiptoed out of bed to start the day’s preparations. In the shower’s quiet, Piper anticipated the joy of celebrating Daniel, who loved Jungle Safari themes, much to her bemusement. She also thought about Daniel’s grandmother, who often said he might become a vet.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

After showering, Piper put on the kettle and started blowing balloons, contemplating the family’s past struggles. Brian had lost his advertising job due to AI’s rise, and their stability took a hit. They had some savings but eventually had to move in with Piper’s parents, Caroline and James.

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Living with her parents brought Piper comfort but also stress, fearing Brian’s need to be the provider. However, Brian and James soon found a cooperative routine. Brian’s job hunt ended successfully at an even better marketing agency, where his interpersonal skills shone.

They stayed with her parents before buying a new house. So now, Piper insisted on a lavish birthday to make up for past hardships, to which Brian agreed, seeing it as a chance to build new memories.

In his room, Daniel awoke to sunlight and distant kitchen noises. He hid under his covers, hoping for a pancake breakfast without blueberries. His parents came in to wish him a happy birthday, offering him a cupcake.

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For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

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Daniel sat up and inhaled deeply, but he blew so hard that the candle fell off the cupcake and onto his Mom’s lap.

“Oh dear,” Piper said, laughing and reaching out to hug him.

Piper busied herself in the kitchen, preparing for the party, while Brian inflated balloons. They anticipated the arrival of guests and Daniel’s reaction to the festivities.

“Where is Daniel?” she inquired.

“Outside, in the playhouse. He likes a bit of quiet before the crowd,” Brian explained.

Piper suddenly remembered something and asked, “Do you think Dad might actually get him a kitten?”

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For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

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“I have no clue. Your Dad is as unpredictable as the weather at this time of the year. But if I’m honest with you, I don’t think I’d mind. There are still a few mice running around. I’ve seen them outside in the evenings.”

Outside, Daniel savored solitary playtime in his playhouse, sharing snacks with two mice he named Jack and Jill. Unaware of the adult conversations inside, he enjoyed his birthday solitude and animal companionship.

After feeding the mice, the boy sneaked into the kitchen, avoiding his parents to grab more treats for his rodent friends. Successfully retrieving the snacks, he returned to the playhouse, sharing and even attempting to taste the mice’s food, which he found repulsive.

A while later, his mother called him, and Daniel left the playhouse, eager to eat something else to take that nasty taste out of his mouth.

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For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

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Piper helped her son wash his face and brush his hair. Most of the guests had arrived and were getting themselves comfortable around the house. She wanted to get Daniel ready and changed into his new safari tour guide khakis just before they began the formalities.

As she buttoned his shirt up, she saw that he was breaking out in a sweat, his hands were getting clammy, and the back of his neck was red and dripped.

“Are you alright, sweetheart?” she asked.

“I’m hot,” Daniel whispered, “And cold. And very thirsty.”

“We’ll get you a drink then celebrate,” Piper reassured, leading him to the kitchen. Piper’s mother, Caroline, was there and reached out, picking Daniel up and wrapping her arms around the boy.

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For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

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“Happy Birthday, pet,” she said, kissing his forehead. “Oh, Piper, is he okay? He feels hot.”

“He did say that he’s hot and thirsty. I think it’s the material that he’s wearing. It is very thick. But I’ll change him into something lighter after we take photos. Is that okay, sweetheart?” she asked Daniel as she took him from his grandmother.

The little boy nodded.

As they navigated the safari-themed house, brimming with guests and decorations, Daniel felt increasingly unwell. His excitement for the presents and the cake, adorned with animals, briefly distracted him. Yet, the distaste from earlier lingered, and his condition worsened.

Standing before his cake, Daniel’s world blurred. His mother, beside him with water, promised a quick change of clothes. He leaned on her, feeling weak and ill.

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For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

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As his Dad lit the candles, the room sang, but Daniel was shaking now. “Mom,” he whispered. “I don’t feel nice.” He struggled to stay upright, and after blowing out the candles, he collapsed.

Piper tried to reach out and catch him, or at least prevent him from hitting his head on the table. But she was too late. One moment, her son was on the bench next to her, and the next moment, he was sprawled across the wooden floor.

“Watch his neck!” the neighbor shouted. She was a nurse and advised caution as Brian and Piper tended to Daniel, now feverish and unconscious. The swift call for an ambulance led to immediate medical attention.

At the hospital, while paramedics and nurses rushed to aid Daniel, Piper and Brian were consumed by fear and confusion.

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For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

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“The cause was a poison of some sort,” the doctor offered his preliminary assessment. “We’ll know when the comprehensive toxicology report returns, but do you know what it could have been? Do you have any idea at all?”

Piper shook her head.

“He has been eating a lot of sugar today,” Brian said. “It’s his birthday, and we just wanted to go all out. But other than that, I don’t recall him eating anything he shouldn’t have been. Piper, did you see him eat anything else?”

Piper shook her head again. She couldn’t understand why Brian was asking her questions. Her hands had begun to shake uncontrollably, too.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

Later, in the quiet pediatric ward, the doctor’s news struck hard: Daniel had ingested rat poison. Piper and Brian reeled from the shock, grappling with how he encountered such a substance.

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“He’s stable but in a coma,” the doctor informed them. “I’m sorry, but it is truly that unpredictable. He is responding to medication and stable, so that’s already a great sign.”

They thanked the doctor and waited. But after a few minutes, Piper stood up. “I need to go home, check on everyone, and lock up.”

“Do you want me to go?” Brian offered.

“No,” she insisted. “Stay with him. I’ll return soon.”

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For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

At the empty house, her parents awaited news. “He’s in a coma, poisoned by rat poison,” Piper disclosed, struggling to stay composed. After ensuring her parents headed to the hospital, she ventured to the garage, suspecting the poison’s origin there.

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Piper rolled her sleeves up, switched on the light, and searched each shelf in the garage, but she could not find a box of the poison. She knew that she was looking for a yellow box. She had unpacked it from their grocery shopping often enough to know what it looked like.

Piper looked through the cupboards in case Brian had put it somewhere for Daniel not to get into. Still nothing. There was a wrapper in the trashcan that smelled like the mouse poison pellets. She pondered if Daniel could have accessed it, troubled by the thought.

Before leaving, she placed the wrapper into her bag, ready to show Brian what he had caused. And even if it wasn’t directly his fault, Brian should have left it to the exterminator.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

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At the hospital, Piper confronted her husband with the found wrapper. “This is your fault,” she hissed at him. Piper pulled the wrapper from her bag and shoved it into his hands. This is your fault.”

Brian opened his mouth to speak, but Piper heard her name from inside. Her mother was calling.

“He’s waking up,” Caroline said.

Daniel was moving around slowly, his eyelids fluttering, fighting against the sleep that had a strong hold over him. He had turned onto his side.

Brian had called the doctor while Piper ran in.

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For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

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“Okay, this is a great sign!” the doctor said. “I’m going to do a neuro consultation, and then I think the best thing to do will be to sedate him for a little longer, just for the treatment to work while Daniel’s body rests. But we need to discover where the poison came from.”

“Jack and Jill, the mice in the playhouse,” Daniel croaked, explaining he shared the yellow-boxed treats from the garage. Brian realized the gravity of the situation, recalling how he had misled Daniel about the pellets’ purpose to protect the child’s innocence.

The doctor, assessing Daniel, sternly warned against repeating such actions, emphasizing the seriousness of ingesting poison.

“Now, you need to rest,” the doctor shifted focus. “I will give you something in your bag to help you sleep, okay? It’s just for a little while so that your body can rest and the medicine can work. You’ll be awake in a few hours, and I think we can all celebrate your birthday then.”

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

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As Daniel fell into a medicated sleep, Piper felt a wave of relief. The doctor reassured them, saying, “He’s young and will recover quickly. The poison amount was small.”

After a few hours, Caroline had sent Brian and James back to the house. She told Piper they needed to get out to do something with all their pent-up energy. Her mother hated pacing, and that’s exactly what they had been doing.

So, her mother told them to go home, bring back food because they were in for a long wait, and bring some decorations back. Bring the streamers and balloons, and even the birthday cake. She said it was important that Daniel woke up to see things looking bright and joyful.

Once they were alone, Piper vented her frustrations with her mother. “I’m not trying to blame him,” she confessed, struggling with her feelings.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

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Caroline grabbed her hand. “These things happen, Piper. Daniel was just sharing, a trait he learned from you both. No one is to blame.”

Piper nodded, still unsure, but seeing the wisdom of her mother’s words.

When Daniel awoke, the room was adorned with balloons and streamers. He noticed the efforts to brighten the hospital room. His family was there, setting up a semblance of a birthday celebration. “Can I have a piece of cake?” he asked, his voice weak but hopeful.

Everyone laughed, relieved.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

Before leaving the hospital, Brian agreed to call an exterminator, prioritizing safety over saving money. “We’ll tell Daniel the mice found a new home,” he suggested to Piper, who smiled at last.

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When Daniel was ready to leave the hospital, he felt sad about the mice but was reassured by his parents that they were happy wherever they were.

His momentary sadness dissipated quickly once they got home because a big surprise awaited him—a new kitten. “If it’s a boy, we can name him Jack. If it’s a girl, Jill,” Daniel proposed, and they all laughed.

Tell us what you think about this story, and share it with your friends. It might inspire them and brighten their day.

If you enjoyed this story, read this one: Single mom Amber panics when she notices her little son Johnny’s sudden weight loss. She secretly follows him to his school cafeteria to ensure he eats well but sees his new teacher grabbing Johnny’s lunch. When Amber reports the issue to the principal, Johnny reveals a heartbreaking truth.

This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com.

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