Hey there, this is one of the Mutism spin offs but you don't have to read Mutism to understand anything in this story. Besides, this takes place a whole 7 years afterwards so ya'll are fine.
On that note: Mutism and the related stories are partially set in China. Do not post any racist comments on any of the stories especially ones about the current pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement since this story contains both Chinese characters and people of colour. While we're on the topic, any sort of discriminatory comments are not allowed. This story contains LGBTQ+ characters as well as characters suffering from mental and physical illnesses. Thank you and enjoy the story.
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It was like any other day for Zan Yun - waking up, having breakfast, taking medications, showering. Nothing was out of the ordinary. It was all the same since she was 6 years old - when she started spending most of her time in hospital. However, this was a rather special day. Zan was finally getting checked over for a lung transplant. So many complications had happened since she was initially supposed to get the surgery but now it was finally happening.
Though she should have been excited, Zan felt some sort of emptiness inside of her. She had been feeling it for a while but now she was top of the list for a transplant and it seemed to have gotten worse. It was obvious what was wrong but she couldn't just say it. She wanted to live a long life but the air quality of her country and her infections kept her from having healthy lungs meaning the only way out was a lung transplant...or at least it should've been.
"Good morning Zan. This is Doctor Shi. He will be looking over your vitals and seeing if you are fit for the surgery." Zan's regular nurse, Nurse Beth, explained gesturing to the older man beside her. Zan couldn't care less about who this guy was. She just wanted to get this over with. She stood up, introduced herself and shook Doctor Shi's hand before sitting back down. Nurse Beth nodded and smiled at both of them before leaving.
"Good morning Miss Yun. Now, let's get started shall we." Doctor Shi cheered. It was all the usual tests - lung capacity, mucus production and others. It was just after the lung capacity test that the conversation actually started.
"You know, you'll be able to leave the hospital permanently if you get this transplant. What do you plan to do when that happens?" Doctor Shi asked, cleaning a piece of his equipment.
"Well...I want to live in Wales. I have someone I love over there and I would love to see them everyday for the last five years of my life." Zan explained, trying not to tear up as she spoke. This was what was causing her emptiness. She didn't want to limit her life because of a lung transplant but was there any other option besides death?
Doctor Shi went silent. He seemed to be thinking for a brief moment before he excused himself and left. Zan saw him outside speaking with Nurse Beth. The hospital was busy at this time with all the outpatients so she couldn't hear what they were saying but she did assume it was something about her life expectancy after a lung transplant. Zan had been researching about it for years and she used to believe she would be one of the patients who lived twenty years or more after the transplant. Now, however, she was so empty that she basically accepted that she would most likely only live at least 5 years afterwards. After about ten minutes of talking to Nurse Beth, Doctor Shi returned.
"Zan, we would like to fund a visa for you to go to Wales. We believe it might be a better alternative to a transplant." Doctor Shi explained. Zan sat there in shock.
"W-what do you mean?" She asked. She was curious about this idea but she doubted it would have any effect.
"The air quality is far better in Wales. We hope it will improve your condition. You will be sent over there then we will check back in a year so check your progress. If this is a success, we could repeat this with other cystic fibrosis patients. Do you accept this plan?" Doctor Shi explained.
Zan hesitated for a while. It seemed like something out of a fairy tale but this was real life. She eventually agreed and Doctor Shi jokingly told her to start packing.
The next six months were busy for Zan. She applied for a UK work visa and arranged accommodations with her friends and partner in Wales. She packed her moving boxes with the small furniture items from her room that didn't belong to the hospital and shipped them over to her partner's house. She - with the help of Nurse Beth - booked plane tickets from the Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport in China to Cardiff Airport in Wales. When she wasn't packing, Zan was reading about Wales and what it was like living there. It was needless to say that she was excited yet anxious about the move.
After six months of anxiously waiting and packing, the day finally arrived. Zan's suitcases were packed with her clothes and medications and she was ready to take on Wales. As she was leaving, Zan was stopped several times.
The first time was by Doctor Shi. He had stopped her to explain what was going to happen. He explained what would happen while she was in Wales, after one year of being in Wales, if her condition didn't improve and if her condition did improve. He explained that she would need continuous monitoring while in Wales and that would be done by a hospital he had made contact with in Wales. Zan nodded, thanked him for explaining and left.
Zan's next encounter was a surprise. Zan's old nurse, Nurse Tang, was standing at the bottom floor where the elevator was with a bunch of pediatric inpatients like Zan used to be. He explained that he heard she was leaving and he and the little ones wanted to give her a proper goodbye. One of the little kids, who was roughly around three or four, held up a big card with "Good Luck Zan Yun" written on it along with various messages written by the pediatric nurses and inpatients. The card was decorated with glitter and various drawings of random objects. Zan nearly cried as she took the card and put it in her bag. She gave Nurse Tang a hug and after her legs were covered by little children giving her hugs, some even crying while hugging her.
The last encounter was another surprise. Just as she was about to exit the doors, Zan felt someone tugging at her arm. She turned around to see her childhood friend, Bai Jin, holding her wrist.
"Hello Bai. I guess you heard the news." Zan sighed, pulling her wrist out of Bai's grasp.
"Yes, I did. Did you think I would let you leave me without say goodbye?" Bai laughed, letting go of Zan's wrist and rubbing his neck. Zan laughed as well.
"Just...take care of yourself please. Don't drink and if they offer you a new liver, take it, okay?" Zan chuckled. She was serious about that last part. Bai had been suffering from liver failure due to alcohol abuse in his early adulthood.
"I understand. Tell Jie, Aeron and Haydn that if they don't treat you good, I will hit them." Bai giggled. Zan burst out laughing, telling Bai that she would do that before the two said their goodbyes and went their separate ways.
Nurse Beth was waiting for Zan outside the hospital as she was to fly with Zan because she hadn't been on an airplane before and in case Zan had breathing problems on the flight. Seeing Nurse Beth not in scrubs was strange yet comforting and pleasant. Zan put her luggage in the back of Nurse Beth's car and took one last look at the hospital to see everyone who had stopped her earlier standing outside, waving at both of them. Zan waved back before getting in the car and being driven to the airport.
After an over 10 hour flight, Zan and Nurse Beth were sleep deprived and in Wales. Zan was so exhausted she felt like she was ready to just fall on the floor and sleep.
"So, do you have anything to know where your friends are?" Nurse Beth asked. Zan was about to reply with a negative answer but then she saw a slightly humiliating sight.
"Those three. Those are my idiots." Zan sighed, gesturing to a light blonde boy holding up a navy blue haired person while standing beside a facepalming dark-skinned man. Nurse Beth nodded and left Jay to head to her return flight to China. Zan approached the three idiots.
"Long time, no see, Zan. How's things?" the blonde boy asked, putting the navy blue haired person down to give Zan a hug. He was quickly stopped by the navy blue haired giving Zan a hug first. Zan, on the other hand, seemed pleased that this was the case,
"Jie! I'm so happy to see you. Also, yeah, hi Aeron, hi Haydn." Zan said, giving the navy blue haired person a hug back. The dark skinned man, Haydn Bryn, requested that the navy blue haired person, Jay John, move aside so he and the blonde haired boy, Aeron Bryn, could hug Zan as well.
After the initial greeting, Haydn and Aeron explained that they would be staying in Cardiff for the night while Zan and Jay would be staying in Conwy with Jay's mother and sister for the night. The group then split and Jay started driving Zan to Conwy - another nearly 4 hours of travel for Zan. It was more of a blessing for Zan since she could finally get some sleep. It was around 8pm when Zan had finally stopped travelling for the day.
That was the start of a new chapter in Zan's life. Everyone hoped that it would be a long one.
When you are actually reading this. This document is a few weeks old. I wanted to upload the last chapter of Mutism along with the first chapter of both spin offs. The other spin off is called Advantages and Disadvantages if you want to read it. It takes place a few years before this story and is centered around Haydn and Aeron.
Now then, time for some quick facts:
1. I'm not a cystic fibrosis expert. I have no clue what doctors in China would actually do with Zan because there was little to nothing about cystic fibrosis in China on Google. The information I am using is from the HSE website. This is an official website created by medical professionals here in Ireland.
2. However, I do know what the air quality is like in both countries. Last time I checked, (roughly 9pm GMT) Shanghai had an air quality index of 122 (which is considered harmful to sensitive groups) and Cardiff was 22 (which is considered good). If any doctors in countries with poor air quality is reading this, what do you think of my idea of sending them over to a place with better air quality. I need a professional opinion which I have no access to at the moment. Ireland has a good air quality so I can't ask the HSE website for this.
3. This is for those who never read Mutism, Jay is nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns. Orientations and gender identities of other characters will be revealed later on. I just wanted to clear this up before anyone misgenders them.
Anyway, thanks for reading and see you in the next chapter. Feel free to ask any other questions in the reviews.