37.2 Trillion Cells

Angelica F


How does one value a life? By how many friends you have? By how high your grades are? By how much money you make? No. We are all the same, so what makes your life more important than someone else’s? Muscle fibers in your hands, nonchalantly gripping the wheel, eyes darting all over the road ahead. Your stomach growls. You glance at the fast food in the passenger seat, with 2o minutes left on the GPS to your destination. Should you quickly grab a bite? Your phone lights up in the cup holder. Your crush texted you! Your heart cells work a little faster as you blush and get excited about the text. Should you answer? The music on the radio becomes static. You change the station, your favorite song! Take your hand off the wheel to turn the music up, sing as loud as you can. Your foot pushes on the gas, not realizing your speed is accelerating. Today is such a good day, you picked up a delicious not-so-nutritious lunch, your crush FINALLY texted back, and you’re listening to some good tunes. You look down when your phone lights up again, and don’t notice the deer around the bend. You look up and quickly swerve onto the other side of the road, causing your lunch to fall out of the passenger seat onto the floor. You reach over to pick it up, and a deafening impact occurs. Everything goes to black. Sensory cells in the nose smell your lunch, stomach cells that make your stomach rumble, neurons in the brain processing what you see and what you hear, heart cells pumping your blood, distractions that were more important than a life, made of approximately 37.2 trillion cells that were just doing their jobs to keep you alive.


37.2 Trillion Cells accentuates the fragility and complexity of human life as well as the impact of human error. As an aspiring physician, I strongly feel that safe driving reduces the risk of unfortunate events in which medical intervention may not save those who were severely affected by said mishap. As a member of SADD, practicing and advocating safe driving may only minimize automobile calamities on a local scale, but it does contribute to making a difference.