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Read the passage carefully. Then choose the correct answer.
 
The three-year-old shook her head as Puspita offered her some water. She then followed Nuri, her six-year-old sister, to the village play area.

Moments later, Nuri ran back. "Ma'ma, Ma'ma, Peni threw up," she announced.

Puspita fetched her younger daughter back home. "I think she is getting a cold," she comforted the anxious Nuri.

The next day, Peni refused all food, solid or liquid, and continued to vomit. Her cheeks became pale and her breathing was labored. her condition terrified Puspita. At her wit's end, she called for a becak and rushed the little girl on the cycle rickshaw to the nearest clinic, leaving the petrified Nuri in a neighbor's care. The doctor on duty diagnosed gastro-intestinal infection and had Peni admitted for observation.

By the next morning, her skin turned greenish-white and her face swelled up. Mother and daughter were ferried by helicopter to the city hospital. The pediatrician there diagnosed pneumonia and put the child on a feed drip and antibiotics. By that night, Peni swelled up like a balloon and fell into a near coma !

Several scans and tests later, the doctors broke the heart-wrenching news. Peni was suffering from a rare heart diseases and needed a new heart, without which, she would probably survive for only six months. While waiting for more tests to be done, Peni's condition deteriorated but a transplant could not be carried out immediately. The donor heart had to be similar in size and match her blood group. The hospital issued an international request.

Two weeks later, Peni's eyeballs rolled back and the 'beep' from her bedside monitor ceased. "My baby ! My baby !" Puspita hollered as the heart machine emitted a continuous shrill. The luminous green light was flat. Cardiac arrest ! the night nurse alerted the doctor but by the time Dr Thompson arrived, Peni's face had turned blue.

"Quick, the defibrillator !" the doctor yelled as she tore open the girl's hospital clothes and thumped her frail chest. A nurse gave the doctor two electrode pads which she applied to Peni's chest. A burst of current made the little body jerk like a puppet. "Come on, Peni, breathe !" Dr Thompson shouted as another shock jolted the limp body. The toddler's heart was beating again.

Half an hour later, Peni had another heart attack ! Dr Thompson revived her, only to lose her again two hours later, and once more in the following two hours. Finally, Peni's pulse settled back to normal. The doctor dabbed her forehead on her coat sleeve. It had indeed been a long, tiring and trying night.

"How long would the reprieve last ?" Dr Thompson wondered. Deep down in her heart, she knew that I was now a question of days, not months ! A new top-priority, international emergency request was sent out.

     
  1. The 'becak' (paragraph 4) is ______.
       
    (A) a clinic nurse
    (B) a type of food
    (C) a village doctor
    (D) a mode of transport
       
  2. Peni could not have a transplant done immediately because ______.
       
    (A) she had to queue for a donor heart
    (B) she had to undergo more suitability tests
    (C) an international request had to be issued first
    (D) there were no suitable donor hearts in her country
       
  3. When Peni's heart stopped for the first time, Puspita was ______.
       
    (A) aghast
    (B) baffled
    (C) worried
    (D) discouraged
       
  4. It had been a trying night because ______.
       
    (A) Dr Thompson had difficulties using the defibrillator
    (B) Dr Thompson had to pump Pen's chest whenever her heart failed
    (C) Dr Thompson had to juggle her time between Peni and her other patients
    (D) Dr Thompson spent a lot of time trying to understand why Peni's heart failed.
       
  5. The 'reprieve' (paragraph 10) refers to ______.
       
    (A) a lag
    (B) a hindrance
    (C) an obstruction
    (D) a temporary relief
       
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  Answers : 1D   2D   3A   4B   5D
 
 
 
 

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