Saturday, 30 January 2016

A Time of My Life

A Time of My Life is a remarkable book penned by nurse Mo Ruddling.

Back in the 1960s a young and qualified nurse, Mo Rudling, decided to take up a two year posting (no holidays allowed!) as a nurse on the island of Taraway (now called Kiribati) with the British Colonial Service.

She had the opportunity to work with the peoples of the atolls of the central Pacific Ocean tending to their medical needs, during the last days of the British Empire, close to the Equator.

The natives of the islands are bedevilled by a range of problematic conditions. Infant mortality, poverty and general medical necessities, which Mo does her best to help alleviate.

Based on Tarawa, Mo had to be transported by boat to the other neighbouring islands, wading ashore through the shallow seas to tend to the requirements and needs of her far flung patients.

She had to tend to a variety of medical needs, including those who were in a a leprosarium, where some 20 people who were suffering from chronic leprosy were living out their lives.

Medical supplies, were, Mo realised, in scant supply.

As well as providing medical care Mo was responsible for organising and overseeing the training programme to ensure that there would be a constant supply of locally-born nurses who would, eventually, be able to tend to the needs of the people on the islands.

This is a charming book and will be of great interest to lovers of books on  travel and medicine.

It is published by Matador and costs £15.99. It is available via the That's Books book shop, which you will find to the right of this review.

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