illustrations, medical, Uncategorized




Cholera thrives in contaminated water.

illustrations, infectious disease, medical, medical history

Asiatic Cholera, 1832



“I had a little bird,

Her name was Enza,

Opened the door,

And in flew Enza.”

illustrations, medical, medical history

Avian Influenza







illustrations, personal




     The last known cases of smallpox occurred in 1978 in England. This was a result of the virus escaping a microbiology research laboratory at the University of Birmingham Medical School. The first victim, Janet Parker, worked as a medical photographer on the floor above the lab. Henry Bedson, who was conducting the research on the smallpox strain that led to Parker’s eventual death, committed suicide by cutting his throat with a  pair of scissors. This happened shortly after he was quarantined in his home.
    The investigation found that the safety of Bedson’s laboratory had been in question well before the outbreak, though it had somehow passed inspections regardless. As a result, WHO instigated stricter controls over the remaining stocks of smallpox, most of which was destroyed. Smallpox now officially exists in two labs, one in the US and the other in Russia.
medical, medical history

The Suicide of Henry Bedson


a drawing by my mother, c. 1970s


My mother went through a phase of children’s illustrations long before I was born. This particular image hung on the wall of my childhood bedroom. I stumbled across it the other day and experienced a wave of nostalgia, but also felt the lingering fear it used to cause me when I was little.

This series featured original ideas (such as this one), but many of the drawings were inspired from traditional fairy tales. She adored The Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Anderson and always read these tales to me in their original form. For this reason she refused to take me to Disney films as she felt they butchered the stories to make them family friendly.

I do kind of like classic Disney movies because they feel strangely forbidden to me (I went to my friend’s house to watch them), but I can also understand her point of view as well. If you were raised on a Cinderella where the step sisters chopped off their heels to fit that glass slipper, and who eventually had their eyes pecked out by birds at the royal wedding, watching the Disney version might seem a bit dull.

horror, personal

A drawing by my mother.