The biggest, non-political, news item of 2018 may be the first human head transplant was performed by the Italian neuroscientist Dr. Sergio Canavero (in the real world). My book, The Waters of Bimini, will resonate with this news headline. It is a fictional story set in the near future and follows a brilliant neurosurgeon, Dr. Curtis Eisner. While—in some ways—socially inept, he has a gift in seeing patterns in nature. This gift leads him to discover a way to coax severed nerves to grow back together. The culmination of his hard work is a Nobel Prize in Medicine. His real passion, however, is to bring a cure to the six million people in the world living with spinal cord injuries.
Due to an unfortunate chain of circumstances, Curtis’ dream becomes entangled with big medical-business. His talent is commandeered by a ruthless billionaire (Mack Pendleton) to create a for-profit medical center in Seattle. Ultimately Mack, being the entrepreneur that he is, uses Dr. Eisner’s innovations to create a clandestine “Coreplant” program in the remote Andaman Islands of Thailand. There, the brains of the aging-wealthy are being implanted into young, attractive bodies . . . eventually harvesting those bodies from unwilling donors. When Dr. Eisner discovers this malicious program, he takes out on a dangerous international mission to shut down the enterprise, which he, inadvertently, helped to create. In a great conflict with the powerful businessman, a game of cat and mouse ensues. The reader doesn’t know the outcome until the end of the book. Mack, who had idolized Curtis, in the end, harvests the neurosurgeon’s younger body as a new home for his brain.
The major sub-plot revolves around the struggles within Curtis’ personal life. This includes a derelict relationship with his wife, Becky, (made so by his lack of social skills), a gorgeous and intelligent young assistant, Nef, who idolizes and is infatuated with him (and he sees her—mostly—as a daughter), and a one-night-stand with an old high school friend, Sandra, which quickly becomes the worst night of his life . . . until that point. There is a theme of water woven throughout the story, from the constant rains of Seattle, to the life-giving spinal fluids of the patients, to the tears of grief, the drowning waters of the Andaman Sea, and finally to Mack’s vision of The Waters of Bimini, which was the original term for Ponce de León’s Fountain of Youth.
I am J. Michael Jones and have spent the last 36 years in the practice of neurology as a PA (Physician Assistant) including five years as a headache consultant at Mayo Clinic. Besides writing over thirty articles for national medical journals, I have written three other (non-fiction) books and co-written one. My last book, Butterflies in the Belfry, received very high reviews on Amazon. One of my books, A Kernel in the Pod, about my adventures as a PA, became the best-seller among members of my profession in 1998.