Wednesday, May 4, 2011
I'm in the process of reading a book called "A Fierce Radiance" by Lauren Belfer. I'm finding it to be a fascinating read. Here's the description provided by Harper Collins:
In the anxious days after Pearl Harbor, Life photojournalist Claire Shipley finds herself covering one of the nation's most important stories. At New York City's renowned Rockefeller Institute, researchers are racing to save thousands of wounded American soldiers and countless others by developing a miraculous new drug they call penicillin. For Claire, a single mother haunted by the loss of her young daughter—a death the miracle drug could have prevented—the story is cuttingly personal, especially after she unexpectedly begins to fall in love with the shy and brilliant head physician, James Stanton. But Claire isn't the only one interested in the secret cure. When a researcher dies under suspicious circumstances, the stakes become starkly clear: someone understands just how profitable the new drug could be—and will stop at nothing to get it. Now, with lives and a new love hanging in the balance, Claire will throw herself into harm's way to find a killer—no matter what price she may have to pay.
What has really struck a chord with me personally is the fact that at the time when this novel was set, a person could die from a scratch on the skin. I knew that but hadn't really given it much more than a passing thought. Heck I periodically trip and fall on my face while running, ending up with nasty looking knees and hands. What if penicillin hadn't been invented? What if we weren't immunized against the terrible diseases that claimed so many people in the past? My Grandmother's Sister, Grace, died from a scrape that she received when she was riding her bike down their family farm's lane to retrieve the mail. She was only 8 years old and is pictured in the photograph above. She's the little one on the left at the front. I, for one, am grateful for the amazing medical advances and dedicated researchers who discover them.