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Education Matters: Health pros went to bat for daughter

August 25, 2011|By Dan Kimber

Editor's Note: Numerous instances of plagiarism have been discovered in Dan Kimber’s “Education Matters” column, which ran in the News- Press from September 2003 to September 2011. In those columns where plagiarism has been found, a For the Record specifying the details will be appended to the piece.

Twenty years ago, my family was completing the final leg of an East Coast vacation that had us visiting Disney World in Florida for three days — all expenses paid. We got as far as St. Augustine when my daughter, Meredith, complained of an intense pain in her lower abdomen.

I drove her to a hospital and — surprise, surprise — she had appendicitis.

I’ll spare you the details, but we never made it to Disney World, although we did get to know St. Augustine quite well while my daughter had her appendix removed there.


It has become a standing joke in the family when any one of us recalls that vacation, pining away, “And then there was Disney World …which we never got to see.”

Or, “We can only imagine what might have been.” (If that sounds even a tad cruel, I am happy to report that both my daughters have thick skins and marvelous senses of humor.)

Fast forward to this summer and a big family vacation to Lake Tahoe planned. Two days before departure, we were visited with another medical crisis, this one more unusual by far, again, involving my daughter Meredith. I’ll set the scene.

It’s nighttime, and from just outside her house comes a high-pitched squealing from an animal in obvious distress. She rushes out to see her cat with a mouthful of what looks to be a bird.

I should add here that my daughter has been, since about the age of 3, the patron saint of injured animals, always ready to render heroic efforts to save any endangered creature. Her instinct in this situation was the same as a little girl I seem to remember so many years ago who had a bond with all animals. She reached down to rescue the bird, only to find that the bird was a bat.

The bat bit the hand (twice) that was trying to help it. No blood drawn, no open wound of any kind, only the sensation of a bite.

It was enough, we found out quickly, that might require a series of rabies vaccinations, unless we were able to capture the bat and have it tested — which my son-in-law and I were able to do with the injured creature.

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