It swooped over their heads, below the stone arches and across the stained glass windows of the cathedral. Some in the congregation stared ahead, actively ignoring the disruptful winged creature. Children laughed and pointed as it flew closer to their parent’s heads, they squealed as it soared between the pews. A dexterous church-goer swung his missal, knocking the creature to the ground. It lay there on its stomach, brown, furry, with little claws at the ends of its wings. Fifteen year-old animal lover, Jeanna Giese, knelt over the bat. Determined to save it, she grabbed the brown creature by its wing and, despite its horrendous screams, took it outside. Under the blinding sunlight the bat grew more agitated, writhing and twisting. It curled up to Jeanna’s finger and bit down, hard. Jeanna gasped and threw the bat up into the trees. Rubbing her aching finger, Jeanna returned to the service and thought nothing more of the bite.
The volleyball was set, hanging in the air at its apex. Jeanna placed her feet and jumped ready to catch the ball at its sweet spot. There was only one problem, she saw two volleyballs. With blurry vision she swung for one and missed. Immediately a sharp pain developed in her shoulder, a sort of uncontrollable spasm. After a couple days with no reprieve, Jeanna’s parents took her to a doctor. He sent her to another doctor. Jeanna’s condition slowly deteriorated while doctor after doctor was unable determine her sickness. It wasn’t meningitis and although she had a fever it wasn’t the flu. Her brain scans were appeared normal despite her now slurred speech. The situation had quickly become grim. Then her parents mentioned the bat incident. Jeanna’s pediatrician, Dr. Dhoneau, became pale as he listened to the story of the bat bite. He walked out of the room and immediately called for a test to determine whether Jeanna Giese had rabies. Rabies is a virus, carried in the saliva, that has a 100% mortality rate in humans if left untreated for over a week. Jeanna had been showing symptoms for over a month.
The rabies virus attaches to the victim’s nervous system at the point of the bite. From there it slowly climbs toward the brain. Before it reaches the brain, rabies can be effectively treated with a vaccine and a brief hospital stay. Once the virus reaches the brain, the chances of survival plummet to almost zero. Patients affected by rabies show extreme aggression, produce infected saliva, and develop a fear of drinking water. The fear of water, or hydrophobia, is a result of the virus telling the brain to keep anything that may dilute the host’s potent saliva away. Jeanna was rushed to the children’s hospital diagnosed with rabies virus. At this stage the normal protocol in 2004 was to either bed the patient until they passed in the hospital or send them home expecting the same result. With Jeanna’s death only several hours away, her new doctor, Rodney Willoughby, suggested to Jeanna’s parents an experiment. He would induce a coma in Jeanna and maintain her vitals through IVs and intensive care hoping that a coma would buy Jeanna’s immune system precious extra time to fight the rabies virus. Her parents agreed to what would soon be called the ‘Milwaukee Protocol.’ The battle was intense. After seven days in a coma, Jeanna was slowly woken. Only able to move her eyes, Dr. Willoughby asked her to look at her mother. Jeanna fixed her gaze directly on her mother’s face. She had survived. In all, Jeanna spent three months in the hospital learning to walk again. Physical therapists trained her to use her arms and legs, and how to speak. Now Jeanna has completely recovered and the ‘Milwaukee Protocol’ has been refined and used in forty other cases. Of those cases, four others have survived. While those numbers may not appear hopeful for those who’ve passed the vaccination stage, the previous alternative was 100% mortality. Jeanna’s case has provided hope and insight into a virus that has plagued mankind for over four-thousand years.
Eating fresh produce from the garden is truly one of the pleasures of the season. Fresh salads, tomatoes, peppers and onions highlight the summer table. Sunday dinner with a table full of nothing but corn on the
cob, green beans cooked with new potatoes, onions and cucumbers in vinegar, fresh tomatoes. No main course is needed, just the bounty of the garden. Another important part of the garden was planning ahead to grow enough produce to “put food by” for the winter. Canning was always an important part of summer and fall life at home and on the farm. Aside from more traditional Appalachian families, canning and other preserving methods had been in decline over the past few decades. The convenience of the grocery store and a lack of connection to the farm or to food led to fewer and fewer home canners.
However, that trend has reversed. Not only is home food gardening at the highest level it has been in years, home food preservation is also. People of all ages are starting to can, whether they did it years ago and are finding their way back to home preservation or are learning for the first time. Fermenting and drying are also becoming popular means of preservation. Some people are even planning out their home preservation to reduce or eliminate the need to purchase certain produce items from the grocery store year-round. Home gardeners have a leg up when it comes to fresh ingredients, since they get to grow their own. Sure, you can buy fresh produce at the farmers market for canning. Learn how to successfully and safely use a pressure canner for low acid foods. This hands on learning class is being offered by the WVU Doddridge County Extension Service. The same class is being offered in the morning at 10 am and again at 6 pm at the Extension Office, Thursday, July 10. Please call the office to register for the time that works best for you. (304) 873-1801.
CHARLESTON, WV—A 44-year old Fayette County woman faces up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty today to mail fraud, United States Attorney Booth Goodwin announced. Cheryl Gray of Hilltop, West Virginia, entered a guilty plea before United States District Court Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. in Charleston. Gray is a former employee of the Fayette County Sheriff ‘s Department. While at the Sheriff ’s Department, Gray was charged with collecting application fees for concealed weapon permits, recording fees paid, and transmitting a list to the West Virginia State Police of permits issued each month. For over six months, from October of 2012 through June of 2013, Gray kept cash payments for permits and failed to record the names of persons who paid cash on the State Police report. To disguise her theft, Gray created a false set of receipt books. The fraud resulted in losses to the State Police and Fayette County Sheriff ‘s Department of approximately $40,000. Gray is scheduled to be sentenced on September 23, 2014 in Charleston.
The West Virginia State Police, Fayette County Sheriff‘s Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Blaire L. Malkin is in charge of the prosecution.