Unlucky turn for young researcher

March 20, 2008 4:23:27 PM PDT
A trip to Philadelphia for a national science fair takes a detour to a hospital. But the young scientist says she'll be back to compete next year.

14-year-old Deborah Dallas dreamed of making it to a national science fair.

But unfortunately, the budding young scientist ended up at Jefferson University Hospital.

Deborah, a student a Tri-Cities High School in suburban Atlanta, Georgia had won. gthree smaller science fairs with her experiment entitled, "The Effect of Sweeteners on Yeast Fermentation." After winning those, and with coaching from experts at Spellman College, Dallas got the chance to compete in a national competition held today in Philadelphia.

But Deborah has Crohn's disease, and had painful flare-up last night. When her mother Rosalyn took her to Jefferson's emergency department, Deborah hoped it would only be for a few hours.

She told Action News, "I was hoping they could give me something to relieve the pain and then I could get some rest and go the next morning."

No such luck..Dallas missed the chance to present her project. at the meeting of the National Organization of Black Chemists. In light of the unlucky turn of events, the committee says she is welcome to come back next year.

Dallas wants to become a pharmaceutical engineer, to help develop new drugs - perhaps something for Crohn's Disease.