Esbenshade

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'My partner, Sam, gave a sort of surprised gasp as she was shoved into my chest, pinning me against the side of the ambulance. She was a small woman, barely five feet tall, weighing no more than about a hundred pounds, but the force exerted by our suddenly combative patient was more than enough to send my six foot frame reeling. I managed to get a hold of her shoulders as she was shoved backwards, and move my head to the side so that I took the impact of her head in my shoulder and not my face, but we were momentarily winded, both from the physical pounding and the surprise. We had both been around long enough to know not to be too surprised by anything, however, and we both dove for the stretcher simultaneously, trying to gain a purchase on our patient.

I quickly moved around, positioning myself to the right of the patient just behind him, and grabbed for his right arm. For a moment it looked like we were finally getting things under control. He was sitting up, but Sam had his left arm and I had his right and he didn't seem to be able to break loose. Then his eyes rolled up until all we saw were the whites, and he collapsed onto the stretcher.'

Their patient, a twenty-seven-year-old male, has gone into full cardiac arrest, and we follow paramedic partners Jay Barlow and Samantha Williams, working their 'code', to the hospital and into the ER trauma room where the patient finally dies. There is no clear-cut reason for such a death in such a young man until the hospital pathologist discovers a baseball-sized tumor in the man's brain. This is deemed a very rare and unfortunate situation until Jay learns that the man's neighbor died of exactly the same thing two years before. As the story progresses more and more local people become afflicted with tumors, cancer and birth defects-far above the average for such a small community.

Jay races to find out why this is happening, enlisting the help of his friends, family, and colleagues while along the way he must still deal with the demands of being a husband, father, and a paramedic. Who is killing the community and why?

When the horrible truth is revealed, Jay rushes to find the killers and convince the town that they are victims of a very real and deadly plot, a plot made even more frightening because it is based on a true story.

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