DESERT HOSPITAL IN CHINA by Barbara Spencer

DESERT HOSPITAL IN CHINA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An equable, and at all times adaptable, account of a medical installation on the fringe of the Gobi desert where under singular conditions and sometimes impossible circumstances the Spencers- a New Zealand doctor and nurse-conducted their unit. Down the Old Silk Road to Sandan, they arrived to help complete the new hospital, construct beds- and make sheets out of bandages. Their first patient, a young prince, needed an eye operation- and was stitched up with a girl's hair. Medicine here was a real challenge- with undernourishment and venereal disease accounting for much illness; they operated attended by boy nurses of under 15; they created an artificial arm for an amputee out of leather boots; and with Bob away, Barbara had to operate ad lib. The cold, the famine, the dreadful food (wine made from millet and pigeons' droppings), the war- as Sandan fell without a shot, are balanced off by journeys which reveal the beauty of this country and this ancient culture, and the satisfaction of the lives they eased and saved...A pleasant, personal memoir.

Pub Date: Feb. 28th, 1955
Publisher: Roy