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Memories Of My Brother

Special memories of Victor which are forever in my heart are being shared with others for the first time.
The 2 poems below were written just for this page.


Petey Hester got a free smallpox vaccination last week and it has taken doctors and two red cross agencies to see that it doesn’t cost him the sight of one eye.

Petey is the 2 1/2 year old son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Vance Hester of 511 Magnolia St. here. His five year old sister Vicky, getting ready for school in the fall, got a doctor-administered smallpox vaccination about two weeks ago. In a little tussle with his sister last Wednesday, Petey accidentally knocked the scab off her vaccination and apparently brushed his face against the sore.

“He woke us up (crying) Wednesday night with some fever,” his mother, Bertha said. “Thursday morning, it looked like he had two mosquito bites on his face.”

One was on his cheek, the other on his eyelid. His mother took him to the doctor, who prescribed, she said, a penicillin salve.

“He wasn’t any better Monday, so the doctor sent me to a Gastonia specialist.”

By this time, the sores had become full-fledged positive vaccination “takes” and two others were starting.

The doctor called the Piedmont Carolina’s Reginal Blood Center at Charlotte about 4:30 p.m. and reguested a dose of vaccina immune globulin, a serum developed by the Red Cross to halt the spread of smallpox sores in the rare casses of vaccination reactions. The blood center quickly notified the reginal area Red Cross headquarters in Atlanta. The serum was flown to Charlotte Monday night. The Gastonia doctor gave petey a shot in each hip about noon Tuesday. The serum might save the sight of the tot’s right eye, the doctor said.

The smallpox sores had inflamed the eyelid, but had'nt infected the eye itself.

“We hope the globulin will halt the whole thing right where it is,” the doctor said.

Red Cross is the only source of supply for the serum.

Dr. Inez Elrod, director of the Reginal Blood Center in Charlotte, said the center gets three or four request a year for it. The serum comes from the plasma of blood taken from recruits at armed services training depots who have ”primary takes” when vaccinated for smallpox for the first time.

“At that time the immunity antibodies go very high,” Dr. Elrod said. The globulin is extracted from the blood and stored in Atlanta for emergencies such as Petey’s. No charge is made for the serum. Petey actually vaccinated himself from his sister’s vaccination sore. Such an occurrence is rare. Sometimes children spread the vaccination on themselves by picking at it.

That’s why the doctor always tells parents to watch a vaccinated child closely. Of the millions of doses of smallpox vaccine given in a year’s time in the nation, there are about 250 severe reactions.

Petey likely will come away from his experience with only a few scars. Right now the sores bother him. He’s asked his daddy to take them off. “He thinks they’re bugs or something,” Hester said. Tuesday afternoon, the boy seemed to be getting his vigor back, though. He galloped on his rocking horse under a shade tree outside his house.

His mother, quietly watchful and worried, found an optimistic note. “At least he won’t have to get a vaccination when he gets ready for school.”

My brother’s eye was saved thanks to the efforts of all The Doctors, The Red Cross & The Soldiers. He was left with only scars from this experience.

Treasured Memories

Stories of my brother
How precious they are to me
Photos that tell a thousand words
Of treasured memories

My heart, it will forever hold
The love I have for him
Locked deep away inside my soul
Where just thoughts of him come in

He left behind a family
That cares so very much
That yearns each and every day
For his gentle touch

We miss his smile, his laughter too
How he could make you feel
Just by being in the same room
It was genuine and real

God had greater plans for him
That's why he called him home
Forever in all our hearts
But no more on earth to roam

His home is in the heavens now
Way up above us all
Where once in a great long time
We may feel a tear drop fall

Not because of saddness
Nor because of pain
Just to let us know he waits
Patiently for us again

Treasured Memories
Copyright © 2005
Flowers For Momma

Victor had made a promise
To momma long ago
To one day fill a room with flowers;
Blues, yellows and indigos

Never knowing just what he meant by that
She was soon to find out why
The promise he had made to her
Was soon to pass her by

While friends and family gathered
To pay their last farewell
There in this room amoung us all
Was the flowers; a story to tell

Tears streaming down her face
She whispered these gentle words
Victor kept his promise
My broken heard had heard

I knew the pain my mother felt
For I had felt it too
Deep down within our very souls
We could not believe this true

And now, almost 15 years
Have come and passed us by
But feeling still the pain we felt;
Just yesterday, we sigh

A few weeks later momma gathered flowers
To take home and rearrange
To be placed back on Victor's grave
The oddness must have been strange

To know these flowers would tell a story
Of one son's promise in all their glory
A promise kept; from son to mother
A love they shared for one another

Shared love between a mother and son
Will never fade away
Love given to him when he was born
Still is upon this day, always and forever

Flowers For Momma
Copyright © 2005

A Nickle And Two Pennies
When Victor was only a few years old, he managed to find a nickle and two pennies. Curious as any small child would be, he stuck this change in his mouth. The next thing I know, mother has him upside down shaking him. Confussed by what I was seeing, I wasn't sure what to think. I was only about seven or eight years old at the time. Victor was turning blue and I was getting scared of what was happening to him and why my mother was doing this to him. Later I would learn the full story. After my mother's persistence to get the seven cents from his mouth, he swallowed it. Not exactly what my mother had intended to happen. The doctor said to give it a few days and eventually the money would surface once more. Well, it did and that's the end of this story :-).

The 3 Pronged Fish Hook
Another time when Victor was only a few years old I heard him whimpering. I started searching around outside and came upon him sitting in the grass holding his foot in his hands. As I got closer, I could see blood and I took off screaming for daddy. Daddy came running and found that Victor had managed to step on a 3 pronged fish hook. Daddy become the doctor and got it out. I was so scared. Victor never ceased to amaze me. From the time he was born up to the time his life ended here on earth. I never knew how much I'de miss him when he was gone.

Never A Dull Moment
There were never any dull moments when Victor was around. He could make you laugh or make you cry, depending on the situation at hand. I miss his laughter and his beautiful smile. I think that the way he died was hard for us all to accept. It was so sudden. The thing I miss most about him is the way he made you feel, even to this day I still remember that and always will. Knowing the hurt I still feel after 15 long years of missing him says alot to me. It tells me that no amount of time will ever pass me by, when he isn't in my thoughts and always in my heart.

Full Of Life
Victor was a fun and loving young man. As evident in the photo below, the very last known photo taken of him, he has his tongue stuck out. Always full of life and wanted to live it to it's fullest. All the way to the end, I think he did that. Never a dull moment.

Last Known Photo Taken Of Victor 5.26.1990



Updated 1/23/2007

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