Sir Alexander Fleming: swamp, penicillin and world politics.
This amazing story happened at the end of the twentieth century, in Scotland. A plain Scottish farmer Mr. Fleming was peacefully working in his field. Working in a field was at that time considered to be not a simple task at all, that was why the Scottish Alexander Fleming readily and happily gave up all his work at once as soon as he heard some screams somewhere far away. Somebody screamed asking for help, so the farmer rushed there to see if he could do something to help.
Pretty soon Mr. Fleming found out that those screams belonged to a young man, who had had the strangest idea of getting in the middle of swamp right in broad daylight. Evidently, he had got stuck there. The farmer had a kind heart, and, besides, he didn’t really want that much to get back to his hard labour in the field, so he made up his mind to save that luckless youngster. He did it, and as it often happened in a hard life of Scottish farmers, soon he totally forgot all about it. But, several days later, a gorgeous carriage came to his poor small house and a tall noble English gentlemen went out of it. It was that man who reminded the farmer the whole story with saving a small drowning child.
After a brief conversation of the two men it turned out that the aristocrat was the boy’s father. He felt very thankful towards Mr. Fleming. He said that he had visited the farmer because he wanted to give him a big sum of money for his farmer’s soft-heartedness and selflessness. The farmer was in fact very short of money and he needed it badly, but his inherent dislike towards Englishmen made him look up with pride and refuse to accept the generous reward.
Obviously, the thankful nobleman didn’t want to remain indebted to the Scottish either (perhaps even for the same reasons). Nobody could ever know how it all could have ended if not for a small boy who looked out of the window of the farmer’s hut right when it was the most critical moment. The small boy seemed to be of the same age as the aristocrat’s son who almost drowned the other day.
Fleming confirmed that the boy was his child. The Englishman suggested he take the boy to England, give him the best education one could ever get in England and take care of him in everything. Finally the mutual understanding was found, and the farmer’s son was taken to England by a rich nobleman to study different sciences. But what was it for? What could it all lead to? Fate and the boy’s love towards medicine created a miracle. Thus, the young man became a scientist, a physiologist and a bacteriologist, and in 1928 he invented penicillin. Why did he do it? Maybe he did it because penicillin saved a small boy (who now grew much older) who once almost drowned in the swamp of a small but proud Scotland and was saved by one Scottish farmer. He suffered from pneumonia and only doctors said that only a miracle could save him. Thus, it turns out that the Flemings had already saved the luckless boy twice by that time. Why did it happen? – careful readers might ask. ‘Isn’t it enough for paying your debt to save once?’ Not at all, because that boy’s name was Winston Churchill and he was the man worth saving as many times as possible. By the way, Fleming didn’t save only him, due to his great discovery he managed to save millions of lives on our planet.