Naomi, 36

Naomi, a dedicated biology postdoc, faces unexpected challenges as she navigates the complexities of life, research, and personal dilemmas, all while guarding a secret.

3 min read

The untold secret:

The secret that Naomi harbored within her began when she was in her early twenties, a time when life should have been blooming with possibilities. But for Naomi, fate had a different plan. She was struck by a rare and often fatal disease called Xylosis - a viral infection that insidiously attacked the organs, leaving its victims gasping for life. Yet, unlike many illnesses that spread through contact, Xylosis was not contagious. It was a silent assailant that lurked in the shadows, sparing most but ensnaring a few in its deadly grip.

Naomi's small-town upbringing had provided her with a sheltered life, nestled in a place where people busied themselves with the mundane and ordinary. The local hospital and its doctors were well-versed in treating common ailments, but they were ill-equipped to handle the enigmatic nature of Xylosis. As a result, Naomi found herself in a precarious situation, lying on a sterile hospital bed as her condition deteriorated by the day.

It was only after a battery of tests and confounded looks from the doctors that they finally stumbled upon the diagnosis. But in a town where gossip traveled faster than the speed of light, Naomi chose to keep the cause of her affliction a secret. She didn't want her final days to be marred by loneliness, shunned by those who might fear contracting the virus from her, even though such a transmission was very unlikely.

But to everyone's astonishment, Naomi's condition took a sudden and unexpected turn for the better. None of the doctors could provide a plausible explanation for her remarkable recovery, but their busy schedules and pressing responsibilities left them with little time to dwell on the details. As long as Naomi was improving, they were satisfied.

Yet for Naomi, the situation was deeply personal. She had been told that her odds of surviving this disease were almost nonexistent, and as a biology student whose studies had been interrupted, she was determined to unravel the enigma. Her heart ached to understand not only the insidious illness that had nearly stolen her life but also the miraculous reprieve that had spared her from the tragic fate so many others had faced. And so, with a fierce sense of purpose and a keen scientific mind, she set her sights on uncovering the truth.

About Naomi:

Naomi, a biology postdoc, found herself working on a project related to type 2 diabetes under a professor at her university. Although the subject didn't excite her, it was the best option available in her small town. However, after the lengthy health related interruption and her miraculous recovery from the deadly Xylosis, her focus shifted entirely.

Naomi was determined to understand what had happened inside her body and why she didn't die as predicted by her doctors. But because she had never shared the details about her illness with anyone, Naomi started conducting her research privately and after hours, often working late into the nights. Her relentless efforts led her to discover unique antibodies in her blood that not only helped her survive Xylosis, but also had the potential to treat two other terminal diseases that were much more common.

Naomi's fascination with her research went beyond her desire to find a cure; it was an opportunity to understand how she went from preparing herself for the thought of dying to suddenly having the opportunity to work on something with potential beyond anything she could have ever dreamt of. As she analyzed her blood samples and studied the unique antibodies, she often found herself reflecting on the nature of life itself, the delicate balance between existence and oblivion, and how a single discovery could tip the scales for countless people.

As Naomi further refined her findings, word reached her of a new, particular case in town – someone afflicted with one of the other terminal diseases that her discovery could potentially cure. The person in question was someone she deeply despised, someone whose continued existence she couldn't bear to facilitate. Faced with a moral dilemma, Naomi made a fateful decision – she put her groundbreaking research on hold, ensuring that the loathed individual would not have access to her potential cure.

Since her research was a deeply personal endeavor, rooted in her own battle with Xylosis, she couldn't help but feel a sense of pride and ownership over her findings, as it was her body that had produced these life-saving antibodies. This personal connection to her work only served to strengthen her decision to pause her work in order to run out the clock for someone who had already caused too much disruption in her life.

The minute she heard that the person in question had passed, Naomi resumed her research with renewed vigor. She felt a sense of relief knowing that she wouldn't be responsible for keeping that person alive, and yet, because the final product wasn't ready, she wasn't responsible for their death either. This realization provided her with a certain level of emotional detachment that allowed her to continue her work without the burden of guilt.

Naomi, 36