Malaria strikes the Epicocity Project

We were very fortunate that while in Papua New Guinea, our team remained very healthy. We had some bouts with trenchfoot and other minor ailments, but we largely stayed in pretty good shape.

Upon returning to the States however, things started to change. About two weeks after we got back, Brian started feeling sick. After a few days, he recognized the classic symptoms of malaria, saw a doctor to confirm his suspicion and began treatment. After a couple of very uncomfortable weeks, Brian started feeling better. Doctors told him that the strain of malaria that he had contracted was nonrecurring and that after he completed the round of meds, he should be pretty much in the clear.

Two weeks after he finished his meds, as he was returning home to Portland from Thanksgiving with his family in Maine, Brian once again began feeling the classic symptoms of malaria. Back in Portland, he relapsed into a state of misery and once again spent his days sweating, shivering and shaking on his couch. He once again went to the doctor, got back on meds and is now doing much better.

This past Thursday, Kyle and I were working on sponsorship proposals while Trip, feeling sick, laid low. He had been dealing with a nagging illness that wasn’t terrible, but wouldn’t go away either. As I left for Portland that afternoon, Trip decided to go to the doctor to get checked out and hopefully get a diagnosis. About halfway to Portland I got a call from Kyle saying that Trip was in the hospital, diagnosed with malaria.

While we were in PNG, all of us were on anti-malarial medication. Unfortunately though, the medications are only about 80% effective in warding off the disease, so the risk is impossible to eliminate. The news of two of the six members of the team contracting malaria was shocking to us, as mosquitoes didn’t seem to have bothered us much and locals didn’t seem to contract the disease frequently.

Trip and Brian are both feeling better. Trip is still suffering from cycles of debilitating cold sweats, but these cycles are getting more minor and less frequent. Brian is looking much better and is starting to venture away from the couch for longer periods of time.

It’s pouring in Oregon right now and these boys are jonzing to get out and paddle. Send some healing energy their way so that they can get well and charge hard again!