So Many Everests: From Cerebral Palsy to Casualty Consultant

So Many Everests: From Cerebral Palsy to Casualty Consultant

Victoria Webster

Language: English

Pages: 240

ISBN: 0745955959

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The amazing story of how one woman was determined to reach her full potential, despite the odds

Dr. Victoria Webster was born with cerebral palsy, which affected her speech and movement. However she was also extremely intelligent. Determined to use her considerable talents to the utmost, she grew up to become a doctor, and the first to specialize in Accident and Emergency medicine in a Nordic country. On route she overcame considerable prejudice—her lecturers and classmates counseled her to give up: "Who would want to be examined by you?" Diana, Victoria's mother and coauthor, was equally determined that her daughter should achieve her destiny, and together they battled against the ignorance, prejudice, and fear. This is a book of tremendous hope and encouragement.

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Spratty different, neither in our outward lives nor in our hearts. It was not that we were “in denial”, as the fashionable phrase has it, because it was an inescapable outward fact, but to make it uppermost in our considerations, as my mother did, would have paralyzed us emotionally from letting her do everything that other children of her age did. No doubt friends and acquaintances discussed her among themselves, probably with affection and sorrow, but not with us. When we went on our round

hall, I could see into the living-room where a couple of small children were noisily playing some game on the floor. They didn’t look up when we came in, and the woman didn’t introduce us. Just inside the hall there was a small stool. ‘You can sit on that,’ she said. I obeyed. Then, without warning, out of her mouth poured a loud jumble of sounds. ‘Oelksjah flalla-fa-fa ientbtosn sbof otsaaaaah!’ she cried. The sounds seemed to be in no language and were quite

week of external placement in another hospital , I thought I might possibly get a temporary job at the one in Wollengong. I’d really like to have a chance to work in English and to see how English-speaking patients would react to me. While back-packing on the buses, I’d also have lots of time to think about my future. I rang up Mum to put this plan to her. ‘Wonderful idea!’ she said. ‘That’s just exactly what John would have liked you to do with the money. He loved Australia. He’d have

need the support of relatives and good friends right from the start. And here in Edinburgh you wouldn’t have it.’ It sounded to me as if the support would be needed at work as well as off duty. But of course I was used to people trying to tell me I couldn’t do things. Was that what he was doing? ‘Have you thought of applying to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth?’ he asked after a moment. Plymouth? Derriford? No, it hadn’t crossed my mind. ‘You said the south-west of England was

that thought out loud. However, it is all too easy for a careless or over-confident doctor to dismiss as mentally defective a child with no manual abilities, no speech and uncontrollable facial movements. It has been stated before and it is worth stating again that “the severity of the physical handicap is not necessarily related to the mental capacity”. We thought about that too. Maybe as many as a quarter of those severely handicapped children who might not be able to do anything very

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