The Cripple Doctor

Peace Dove neon

It was in another lifetime, many years ago. Quite by chance I had fallen into the company of doctors and nurses from Baragwanath hospital. Some were interesting and some bloody scary. The one woman, a paediatrician caught my attention. She was a tiny lady and confined to a wheel chair. That she became a doctor fascinated me, not only because of her handicap but because she was about my age, so became a doctor in the now infamous “Apartheid Era.”

After listening to here at a few of our usual breakfast meetings and the fact that she also had a love for wildlife I had a conversation with her. It turned out to be a very interesting one at that.

Her legs were useless because of a childhood episode of polio; she told me at the time, people like her were not given the best of treatment, if any at all. As a doctor she believes that if not under the apartheid system she would have not been reduced to a cripple in a wheel chair. It was known within this group that I had serve in the SADF, some did not like me much, but because my main friend in this group was the head of a big unit at Bara, they tolerated me.  A few of them had brothers, and I mean blood brothers, that had joined and fought for Umkhonto weSizwe including the lady doctor. So we got around to that subject and in my normal straight forward way I asked her if she worked for them too. What she replied is a lesson for us all.

It was not in her nature to be a violent person, or even support violence in any way, one of the reasons she became a fine doctor. The main driving force behind her conviction, diligence and hard work was her basic idea and belief. She believed that although as a child she did not get the help she needed, by becoming a doctor and a paediatrician in particular, she would be able to see that other children would not suffer the same fate as she.

With her intellect this woman would have being a huge asset to  Umkhonto weSizwe , she had been approached by them, her brothers  definite would have encouraged her.  Her choice, she told me, was not to kill or cripple others, but to do what she could to insure their health.

I have forgotten the ladies name, but when ever my thoughts turn to extreme violence ( which is pretty often with all the White Genocide and Farm Murders going on ) I think of this woman.

She is a far better person than I.

Nosce te ipsum

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THE MEXICAN HORSE THIEF I – ANGOLA

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