About Me

My name is Jen Hathorn. I'm a family medicine physician. Since January 2015 I have been living in Egbe Nigeria, which is in Kogi State. I am serving at a bush hospital practicing full spectrum family medicine. I am working with an organization called World Medical Mission which is a part of Samaritan's Purse. This blog is my place to stay connected with you through stories, meditations and pictures. I hope that you enjoy reading the posts!

Thursday, February 19, 2015


"Now the serpent was more shrewd than any of the wild animals that the Lord God had made..."
Genesis 3:1 

I do NOT like snakes!
They are sneaky, creepy, and deadly.
They hide in the dark places of the world and strike out at unsuspecting people passing by.
They don't play fair.
In Egbe, most of the snakes are carpet vipers (first picture) with an occasional cobra or green mamba (second picture) out in the untamed bush.
In the last 4 weeks I have treated 4 people who have been bitten by a snake - 2 of them have died.

The bite of a viper causes severe bleeding as it's venom thins the blood and prevents clotting. Usually within hours depending on how much venom was injected, a person is bleeding all over the body. The young man who died last week was bitten while out in the woods and by the time he made it to his friends house, he was already in rough shape. He arrived at the hospital just 24 hours after the bite and was bleeding from most of his orifices - it was already to late. The snake had struck!

2 days ago, I saw my first snake.  It was a smaller green mamba and it fell out of a tree onto the car that I was sitting in. As it looked at me through the windshield - I am sure it was licking it's poison filled fangs thinking about the nice meal this scared white chic would make. Thankfully a nice man grabbed it off the car after much arm waving and pointing on my part and killed it. The down side of this experience is that every time I have to walk to the hospital at night I keep thinking I'm seeing snakes - everywhere! Ironically the Birki's that I wear at night are painted to look just like viper skin. Maybe that will make the snakes stay away from my feet because they will think I'm one of their own.

“I hate and fear snakes, because if you look into the eyes of any snake you will see that it knows all and more of the mystery of man's fall, and that it feels all the contempt that the Devil felt when Adam was evicted from Eden. Besides which its bite is generally fatal, and it twists up trouser legs.” 

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