Saturday, March 17, 2012

ZANE has malaria

We always said we would give IV quinine if Zane ever got malaria at a young age. Then Adam died and things became a little more real.

We don’t want advice. We don’t want judgement for bringing our kids here. We’ve seen enough of that passed on the Appels to last all of us.

Malaria is a real disease. It’s just that half the world doesn’t care about it. Not on purpose really. Most people just don’t know that it’s one of the leading killers in the world. And people here are too impoverished to have a voice in the places where pharmaceutical companies exist. I guarantee that if something like malaria existed in first world countries, it would be eliminated by now. There would be a vaccine. There would be better medicines.

But for now we weigh the options. And we ask for your prayers to help him recover.

We are so thankful that Zane made it to 8 months of age before getting malaria. He’s almost 9 months now. A month ago he got his first tooth, “All the better to bite you with, Mommy!” With the tooth came a fever.

But then the fever persisted. We didn’t just do nothing about it. I did three home tests and two smears in the hospital that were all negative. The fevers were on and off, just like malaria. After a week, we decided to just treat him.

Instead of IV quinine like we always said we would do, we gave him artemether injections. Seven days of injections is tough for a little guy, but the side effects are less risky. We gave fansidar and malarone with it. We even added Bactrim for good measure and amoxicillin for typhoid fever, just in case. He was a walking (well, crawling) pharmacy.

He got better. Then no fever for a week, yay! He was better.

Then they started again. 102. Okay, we’ll do mefloquine. A one time pill. It’s got no reaction with primaquine, so we added that too. Five days later and he has a fever of 103.

It’s hard to be your own kid’s doctor when you helped care for your friend’s child dying of the same sickness. You just can’t be objective.

If Zane came into our ER we would have started him on IV quinine long ago. But then people here don’t have other options. There are no other medicines here. No one has malarone, mefloquine, primaquine; and artemether is way too expensive for people here (not to mention not effective).

Today there was no choice. Nothing else is working. He’s going to take the quinine pills.

Did I mention they are the world’s most bitter-tasting thing ever? Yeah, they are very, very bitter. We even used a quinine pill for one of our food challenges during the SM survivor game. Just a speck of it will make your mouth turn funny shapes for at least an hour. Or vomit.

He’s gotta take it 3 times a day for 7 days.

I crushed up 1/4 of a pill and put it with 1cc of water, slurped it up with a syringe, and stuck it down the back of his mouth.

Two doses down. 19 more doses to go!

Meanwhile Zane is playing happily and doing quite well. Just pray that he continues to do well.

You Might be in Tchad if...

Your Tylenol suppositories have melted in the heat.

You will notice on our blog,, that we have a link for donations. This is through Adventist Health International’s website. We believe strongly in the mission of AHI. We feel that AHI is an organization worth supporting. By donating through AHI, you can be reassured that there is a strong measure of accountability following your donation. Just mark the donation for ‘Bere.’ And remember that your gift is 100% tax-deductible.
Olen Zain: +235 62 16 04 93
Danae Zain: +235 62 17 04 80
Olen et Danae Netteburg
Hopital Adventiste de Bere
52 Boite Postale
Kelo, Tchad
Volunteers Welcome!!!


  1. HI Olen, so sorry to hear of your little guy getting so sick. I have a ten month old and just couldn't even imagine! Our thoughts and prayers are with you. I am wondering if you know a girl named Dani Nobuhara? She is a church member of ours and her parents work with my husband here at MBA. She is in Chad now. We send our greeting!!

  2. Kameron and I just prayed for Zane and for you as you care for him, and for all the other people working so hard over there to make a difference. Wish we could do more. Hugs.

  3. Praying for you and for Zane. Wish there were more that we could do.

  4. The only judgment you get for having Zane in Africa is that you are following the call of the Lord on your heart and spending your life being the hands and feet and voice of Jesus to people who need Him. For those who love Him, everything is worked out for good. Everything. With all the suffering and tragedy in the world, I'm not quite sure how He accomplishes that, but we have seen Him do it! And we are praying for you now and leaving little Zane and your whole family in His capable hands. The God who says that He will pay us back double for all of our sins (the things we have caused with our own hands) is surely able to pay us back more than double for all of the things we endure for His cause. God bless you and your family, and we hope Zane is feeling better soon!

  5. "The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them" Ps 34:7

    We are praying for Zane. Please remain faithful.

  6. We are praying for you!

  7. Praying Zane and all of you!
    -Kim Sorensen

  8. Praying for Zane's complete recovery and for your peace of mind in knowing he's in God's hands!!! It's never easy when our babies are sick, but it must be especially hard and stressful when it's a serious sickness. Hugs!!!

  9. As a mom and a doc. I'm in tears. It's my ultimate nightmare to treat my own son. I've done the quinine before too...I found it goes down a little easier with milk if you've got some. We love you guys! We are praying for you! And thank God for technology because we're gonna have people across the world praying for Zane:) - Mandi, Adam n Wyn

  10. Praying for little Zane. Praying that the Great Physician will take control of his immune system and rid his body of this terrible disease. Also praying mom and dad remain strong as their little one fights this terrible illness. May God continue to bless!

    Just know that 100's in Oklahoma are praying for Zane on a daily basis.

    Paula Horn Mitchell

  11. Hope Zane gets well soon. I know when I had it out in Kenya, it seems like I took every pill(and shot) in the pharmacy even remotely antimalarial before it relented. Hope y'all are of and you are well!

  12. Hello, my name is Amy Bergman and I heard about your situation through Kimberly Sorensen (Loma Linda, CA) who I know through a mutual friend and was deeply touched. My father was just diagnosed with terminal stage 4 simple cell carcinoma that somehow originated in his prostate and I feel he is also too young to leave this world, so I can't imagine what you guys are going through right now, and I have yet to even experience the joy of parenthood. Only God knows the plans He has for us and often it's hard for us to understand His purpose in situations like these because we can't see the big picture, but He Can. Jeremiah 29:11 always gives me peace. I want you to know that I will definitely be keeping Zane and your family in my daily prayers and want to thank you for having the courage to live your lives as David Livingstone did. You are an inspiration to all of us, and that is an understatement. If you guys Ever hear of a need for a dental hygienist... I've been praying that God might need me again someday in the mission field. I spent my early childhood as a missionary kid in swaziland - my parents did nursing and medicine through Loma Linda and went as medical missionaries there, then in 2009,2010 I went myself to China when called to set up a school for dental hygiene through Global Health Institute/LLU at SRRSH. I've looked through AHI and other organizations so many times and there is little need for the preventative care dental hygiene offers abroad it seems. By chance you hear differently, or if there is anything I can do for your family from over here in the States, please don't hesitate to ask. My email address is

    May God be with you all.

  13. Danae,

    I just wanted to add my prayers to your little boy's health!! The only advice I can give you is Trust in Him, for His plan and promise of peace surpasses all understanding!! And may He continue to bless your mission work!

    Love ya, girl...take care,

    Teresa VanWart

  14. Danae - We will be praying for little Zane, that he will recover quickly and completely. We are in awe of you and your hubby's work and dedication. You are doing God's work in a major way, and our prayer is that he will bless your precious family.

    Kathy and Curtis Reeves

  15. I admire you guys for your courage to do His work over there. I'll be keeping little Zane in my prayers!
    Love, Tach Root

  16. We're praying and spreading the word for prayer, Danae. We're so sorry for the worry you must be experiencing. Jess and Ryan Perry

  17. Praying for Zane and for both of you. (((hugs))) my own son Mark is nine months old and I am sitting here holding him trying to imagine what you are going through.

  18. I am at a loss for words. I'll be praying, praying, praying and asking others to pray. Holly Jessen

  19. olen & danae - so sorry that Zane is sick! i will be praying and hoping for his full recovery. this is a scary thing to go through. i know God is with you both. love and prayers - elisa

  20. Dane & Olen,
    Zane is in my thoughts and prayers. I am writing this to you after reading Olen's blog....such a heartfelt letter. You both are amazing people and given so much of yourselves to helping others. I will ask others to share in prayer for your family. Sending hugs

  21. dear olen and danae thinking of all of you and believe little zane will be fully recovered ,this little guy has a lot of friends pulling for him ,and praying too ,good luck to the netteburg family much love from mary ann at baystate ldrp!