April 21, 1972
On a bright Spring morning, the Brady children got ready to go to school. Everyone was in a good mood. Fridays were always a happy day for the children because they knew they were going to be out of school until the following Monday. And this time of the year, they were all counting down the days until school got out for the Summer.
All the kids were happy but young Bobby. The 9 1/2-year old was not at all happy with his current life. He was hardly noticed at home. He wasn't as old or talented as his brothers Greg and Peter. He wasn't popular like Marcia, he wasn't cute like Cindy, and he definitely wasn't like his sister Jan. He was just 'that other Brady Kid.' Nothing special, no interesting personality. Just plain ol' Bobby, if people even remembered his name.
The chatter in the kitchen at the breakfast table was happy among five of the six Brady children. While the others enthusiastically visited, Bobby sat at the table sulking. He had worried himself so much that he was giving himself a stomachache.
Why do I have to be me? Why can't I be Greg or Peter? I'd even be happy if I were someone like Marcia. I hate being boring Bobby Brady.
All the way to school, Bobby's stomach churned. He felt like he was going to throw up. He told himself to stop thinking about how insignificant he was. He had to get through school. But he couldn't help this burning feeling in his stomach.
At recess, Bobby didn't feel well at all.
"Mr. Max, can I please go to the restroom?"
"Sure Robert, be back soon."
"I will. Thank you." Bobby was thankful his teacher said yes. He hurried in the building. He stumbled into the bathroom and threw up into the toilet in the nearest stall. But he didn't feel better. He went back outside and told Mr. Max that he wasn't feeling well.
Miss Anderson took him to see the nurse. After an examination, the school nurse was suspicious of appendicitis. So she sent him to the hospital to be double checked. Sure enough, it was appendicitis.
"Is this the correct number for your parents?" the nurse asked, showing Bobby the emergency contact number that was written on Bobby's record.
"And will one or both of your parents be home now?"
"My mom should be home." Bobby winced, holding his stomach. He groaned when a sharp pain hit him.
"Is your pain getting worse, Bobby?"
Bobby winced and nodded.
"All right, I'm calling the hospital then I'll call your parents from there. You may be going into surgery, young man."
Bobby nodded. "Anything to get rid of the pain."
"Okay, Honey, I'll call. We'll get you over there soon."
Once at the hospital, the nurse called the Brady house.
"Brady Residence" Alice answered.
"Hello, this is the school nurse from Clinton Elementary. May I please speak to Mrs. Brady?"
"Yes ma'am, I'll get her. It will be just a minute."
Alice covered the mouthpiece on the phone. "Mrs. Brady, you have a phone call."
"Thanks Alice, I'll be right there." Came the reply.
Less than one minute later, the pretty young woman came down the stairs. With her pretty hair and youthful face, it was hard to believe she was a mother of six. Even though three of those six children were step-children, she still loved her three step-sons as if they were her biological children.
"Thanks Alice." Carol smiled, picking up the telephone receiver. "Hello."
"Hello Mrs. Brady, this is Nurse Adams from Clinton Elementary School. Bobby came to me at lunchtime with bad stomach pains. He said he threw up but didn't feel better. After examining him, I suspect appendicitis, but we've brought him to the hospital to make sure. The doctor is performing tests right now."
"Oh my goodness, is he okay?"
"He's in pain, which is expected, but he's doing as well as can be expected."
"I'll be right over. Let me call my husband and explain to him what's going on. We'll be right over. Our oldest child, Greg, is old enough to drive so he can take his younger siblings home."
"Let me know if I can help at all Mrs. Brady."
"Thank you for everything you've done, Nurse Adams. I really appreciate it."
"You're welcome. I'll see you and your husband soon."
"Okay. Thank you. Bye."
Carol hung up the phone.
"Which one of the boys got hurt?"
"Bobby. He's not hurt. The nurse suspects that he had an appendicitis attack. They're at the hospital right now. The doctor is running some tests. I'm gonna call Mike and tell him what's going on."
"Don't worry about a thing here. I'll take good care of the kids and I know Greg and Marcia will help me."
"Thanks Alice, I appreciate it."
Carol called Mike and explained the situation to him.
"I'll be home right away, Honey."
"Thank you Mike."
"You're welcome. See you in a bit."
In a few minutes, Mike was there to pick Carol up. They drove to the hospital.
"Hello," a young girl, not much older than Marcia, said as she smiled at Mike and Carol.
"Hi, we're looking for our son Robert Brady. He came over from Clinton Elementary School with appendicitis."
"Oh yes, come with me and I'll show you where he is." The candy striper led the way to the pediatric floor.
"You can check in at the desk here. He's in one of the exam rooms. The school nurse will probably be able to talk to you."
"Thank you." Carol smiled.
The nurse at the front desk led them to the exam room. She had a candy striper showed them where to go.
"I have to talk to the doctor. It'll be just a minute."
Mike and Carol stood outside the room while the candy striper spoke to the physician.
"You may come in." the candy striper smiled at Bobby's parents.
"Thank you." Carol smiled.
"Thanks." Mike smiled.
"Hi Sweetheart," Carol said, entering the room.
"Hi Mom," Bobby groaned.
"Mr. Brady, Mrs. Brady, your son has severe appendicitis. His appendix will most likely rupture if we don't operate."
Mike and Carol were silent as they listened. They realized the severity of Bobby's condition.
"We'll need your consent to operate." The doctor explained.
"I think I speak for both my wife and I when I say we want the operation done."
Carol nodded. "Will the surgery be today?"
"Yes, we'll send him to the emergency room where I'll operate on him there. The appendectomy shouldn't take any longer than an hour or two. You may wait in the waiting room if you wish."
"We'd like that very much."
"All right. I'll have you sign the consent form and then we'll take him to surgery."
Mike signed the consent form.
Carol hugged Bobby.
"It's okay, Mom. I'm not nervous one bit."
"I know, Honey. But it's my job as your mom to be nervous. Be brave. I'll see you in a bit. You'll feel a lot better the next time I see you."
Mike hugged Bobby. "See you in a bit Son."
Two nurses came and rolled Bobby's bed to the emergency room.
Mike hugged Carol. "He's gonna be okay."
"I know. It's just the first time one of our children has been really sick."
"I know, but Bobby's strong. He'll feel a lot better afterwards."
Carol smiled and nodded.
Mike took his wife's hand and led her to the chairs where they sat, waiting for the moment they heard news about their son's surgery.