The inspiring story of Dr. Patricia Bath, an African American eye surgeon who made significant contributions in the field of ophthalmology.
Growing up in the late 1940s in Harlem, young Patricia first became curious about sight and sightlessness when she noticed a beggar with cloudy eyes. While her friends played nurse, Patricia wanted to be a doctor, and her working-class parents encouraged her love of science. Patricia honed her eye-hand coordination skills by sewing up and mending her dolls, a skill that would come in handy in her career. As a young ophthalmologist, Dr. Bath began working in Harlem before moving across the country to the prestigious Jules Stein Eye Institute in California. The discriminatory treatment Dr. Bath received at her new workspace didn’t keep her from taking the high road and seeking justice and triumph. Where other doctors saw the impossible, Dr. Bath saw opportunities for miracles, going on to perform a series of groundbreaking surgeries that restored or improved sight for her patients and eventually pioneering the use of lasers in cataract surgery. The lively illustrations complement this motivational text with detail and emotion, from early depictions of Patricia practicing medicine on her toys to the granting of her first patent and her later humanitarian work in Tanzania.
A great tribute to a beautiful life and an important spotlight on a little-known part of American medical history. (timeline, author’s note, biographical note, works cited, further reading) (Picture book/biography. 6-10)