The story that caught my attention on News Engagement Day was a tweet from the Associated Press: “Venezuela’s health crisis: How a banged knee nearly killed 3-year-old Ashley”. On October 4th Ashley’s story was shaped around Venezuela’s medical shortage and a family’s quest to find proper antibiotics.
I shared the story with my mom initially over Facebook, which instantly led to a phone call. Over the phone, I retold the story from the perspective of Ashley’s father, who tirelessly searched for antibiotics, rather than focusing on the facts about Venezuela’s current crisis. My mom deeply sympathized with Ashley’s parents, who were unable to help their child immediately, because resources were unavailable. She described, “I can feel what they are going through – every parent wants to help their child.” The content had a deeper impact on my mom, brother, friend and co-worker after I retold the story from the father’s perspective.
The original story concluded with Ashley’s father leaving the clinic at 1:30 in the morning to buy antibiotics. On October 7th I revisited the article and learned that Ashley survived and her parents sold the left over medication to mothers in the hospital. The story is captivating because it addresses a larger cultural and societal issue as well as touches the hearts of those who can empathize with the family. This family narrative was nevertheless, universally understood.