Oil Painting Collage  · Self Portrait
Excerpt from a Children’s Book by Author J.Neil Bittner

(They brought in the best infectious disease team in the tri-state area.  Tonight was their last night at this hospital and they were alerted to J. Neil’s arrival by ambulance.)
“I guess they figured out what was wrong with him. Pendleton said in a tone of disbelief.  Yes Pendleton, it was a good thing J. Neil woke up just long enough to tell the doctors that he was in Deepest Darkest Africa.  “And they did! He has Falciparum Malaria....”Abercrombie looked up from the book he was reading.  “I just learned that the parasites are transmitted to humans through the saliva of “FEMALE” mosquitos. The delivery system is so effective some call them the flying syringe.”  Pointing to a paragraph in the open book, he exclaimed “Oh my God Pendleton! Once injected, the parasites quickly retreated to his liver, where they matured and multiplied. Then they re-emerged in his bloodstream to invade his blood cells.
Pendleton reaches out to grab the book “Let me see that book Abercrombie.” Peering into the book he reads “By the time the parasites have reproduced thousands of times, they thrash about, popping blood cells, turning them to mush, clogging blood vessels, debilitating their host, and eventually killing him. Sometimes it only takes hours.”
Abercrombie leans over to see the text and adds, “The kill rate is 80%”
Pendleton looks up as he remembers in a daze “I just read J.Neil’s chart. “It says if a patient’s blood is 10% infected the patient will not survive.  J.Neils is 30%.”
Abercromie , still  reading the book adds “The World Health Organization estimates that malaria kills as many as 2.7 million a year, and sickens as many as half a billion....”
“This is not good, not good at all.” Pendleton exclaims.
Abercrombie tries to reassure them both “The doctors gave him a heavy dose of medicine to hopefully kill the parasites.”  Yeah!  Then they have to remove all his blood said Sandy.
Pendelton gathers himself up into a grown up look and says “We had better call the cats, they will be sick with worry.” He finds his phone and presses the numbers with frantic speed. Abercrombie paces back and forth as they wait for the call to go through.  The other ends come alive with a loud meow.  Pendleton explains the situation to the cats.
In growly tone, the cats can be heard purring out “Thanks for the call; we have been saying our prayers over and over.”
Pendleton answers them “Better pray some more, a lot more!”
Over the speakers an alert is sounded, 
What’s happening? They just rushed him to the operating room!” Abercrombie screams out.
A nurse rushes in and tells them “He took a turn for the worse!”
J.Neil was two hours away from death when he arrived, and time is running out.....
Looking back at his hospital experience,  J. Neil remembered the nurses putting tubes into every orifice they could find, Then being rushed to the operating room where the surgeon made small incisions in my neck, arms and thigh so they could insert more tubes. The room was spinning; the television seems to be running numbers at light speed. I saw a ship, under full sail as I headed towards a white light.”
The doctors told Sandy, all his vital organs were shutting down. His heart is enlarged, his kidneys down, the lungs fighting for air and his brain……………….” Don’t worry Sandy; his brain isn’t a vital organ!”

Back to Top