It’s almost pitch black, at about 10.30pm on a Thursday night, in the middle of nowhere somewhere between New York and Baltimore. I walk out across the petrol station while the bus takes a rest break, and the cicadas aren’t just humming – they’re screeching. I look around. It’s desolate and dark.
I’m meant to be in New York, coming to the end of an internship with the office of Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme – a dream job. Instead I’m on a Megabus heading to Baltimore, on my way to Johns Hopkins Hospital, about to see the doctor responsible for discovering a rare condition called Loeys-Dietz Syndrome and an expert in heart surgery.
How did I get here? And how did it come to this?