Title: The Panacea Project
Author: Catherine Devore Johnson
Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group
Imagine finding a cure or remedy for all diseases. Imagine having an immune system that might hold the cure for cancer. Finally out of the foster care system, Calla Hammond finds herself on a roller coaster ride that will take her under the wings of hospital personnel and a doctor who diagnoses her with a brain tumor but can it find it when he operates on her. This leads to a series of unexpected choices for her. She has vitiligo an autoimmune disease that causes her to lose melanin in patches of her skin. People shy away from her as a result. As a foster child, she lost her mother and does not know her father after many foster homes and social workers she’s blessed with Rae who from the moment she meets she realized she was special and both have a huge bond. When Calla has a seizure in the library where she works she’s rushed to the hospital and here’s where the novel takes off. With surgery for the tumor scheduled when Dr. Cho her surgeon thinks he has the wrong patient and apologizes claiming the scans belonged to another patient but how would they get coded as Callas? However, here is where events and circumstances take a darker turn as Dr. Kraft a cancer researcher thinks that Calla recovered from cancer and invites or entices her to join the research study thinking this is the first step to finding a cure for this disease but Calla had no idea what she was in for when she signed the forms. Dr. Kraft had a devious agenda and lacked compassion, empathy, or care for Calla. She was a means to a lucrative monetary end. Reuben her nurse practitioner had well-being in mind but going up against Kraft was dangerous and costly until one person in the team leaked his research article instead of realizing that he did was for the good they tore him apart, fired, and even interviewed him and his words they never realized that he just wanted to protect Calla.
Tons of tests, Rob’s of blood drawn, biopsies that were not needed, Dr. Pemmaraju the second in command of the research, realizes something is wrong but not until Ralph leaks it to the news is more scrutiny placed on what Kraft is doing and then she’s kidnapped when she tries to leave the hospital and from this point in events spiral out of control. Kraft is removed and Calla refuses to continue unless Dr. Pemmaraju is in charge. Calla asked to allow her blood to save a young boy named Luca and Kraft denied her request. Leaving the hospital was just a ruse as Calla was still in danger and had been assigned, bodyguards. But money talks and one sold her out making her prey to more of Kraft’s abuse and greed. In reality, he was getting donations from people who had children or others in need of her blood and he sold it to the highest bidder. More tests, sedation to keep her asleep, and a young boy named Luca whose father was behind it all. Lives intersected, loyalties were broken, trusts gone and life destroyed by greed, power, and recognition. In the end, Calla lost her battle in many ways as Brandon her bodyguard had to choose someone over her but in the end, he saved her in more ways than one. Author Catherine Devote Johnson takes readers inside the mind of a diabolical doctor whose only concern was to use her golden gift for nefarious purposes. Exposure to the public, unnecessary tests, and dealing with reporters, the public, and hospital staff until she could not anymore. With the hope if a cure or vaccine Kraft was relentless and forged ahead never once caring about her needs or the tragic result. Calla realizes a harsh reality at the end and what she does will endear readers to her as the author includes the issues of trust, medical practices, the value of research studies, hope, family, deception, greed, and one young girl named Calla who gave it her all for the good of everyone else. Her blood and her bone marrow were verified by scientists to cure cancer in lab animals. But events were tainted by corruption and infighting leading the lab technician to leak an early draft of the research. In the end as a result of her getting kidnapped, and dealing with Kraft and his mistreatment age developed multiple organ failures, and a grave choice was made. What she’s decided at the end you will have to learn for yourself as this mystery/thriller has more than one ending for each character’s future. Find out what Calla decides to accomplish and what was accomplished as the title reminds us that a panacea is a remedy, cure, or medicine reputed to heal all diseases. The issue of self-sacrifice for the lives of others to hopefully benefit positive research with reputable doctors creating their own successful Panacea Project. A definite must-read.
No comments yet.