SKU: 9781551537931.

Amazing Stories: Norman Bethune

The incredible life and tragic death of a revered Canadian doctor

Excerpt:

Sacred Heart Hospital, Montreal, 1935 Dr. Norman Bethune showed his assistant the x-rays. There was no doubt that the patient had tuberculosis. Her entire right lung was abscessed. "She's ten years old and an only child," snapped the doctor. "It's too late for treatment. If that lung isn't removed, she'll be dead within three months." His assistant nodded, frowning. He knew Norman was right. But he also knew the doctor would be taking a terrible risk if he removed the lung. This surgical procedure had never been attempted in Canada. "Will you try?" he asked. Norman threw the x-rays onto a table and began pacing the floor. "I don't know," he said, shaking his head. "If only I'd seen her a year ago!" Norman knew all too well that the girl's parents hadn't brought her to the hospital earlier because they couldn't afford to pay for treatment. Finally, realizing how ill she was, the desperate couple had sought out the famous doctor and begged him to cure their daughter. They promised they would sell everything they owned to pay his fee. Dr. Norman Bethune was not concerned about his fee. He was concerned about the child. Other doctors would not have risked ruining their reputation by performing surgery on a child who was quite likely to die on the operating table. Norman was not like other doctors. He began mulling over his choices. If he didn't operate, she would live a few more painful months. If he did, she could die during the operation. Or, she might survive and lead an almost normal life. He continued to agonize over his decision until the early hours of the next morning. As he tossed and turned in bed, he kept seeing the girl's dark sunken eyes and matchstick-thin arms. She deserved more. His mind finally made up, he sank into an exhausted sleep.

Weight 0.12 kg
Dimensions 21.6 × 14 × 1.3 cm
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