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All the Young Men by Ruth Coker Burks review – an uplifting memoir – The Guardian

A renegade Florence Nightingale cares for the ill in a remarkable tale of compassion and combating prejudice

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In the spring of 1986, Ruth Coker Burks was in the medical centre in Little Rock, Arkansas, visiting a friend with cancer, when she noticed three nurses drawing straws to see which one would have to enter a patients room. Curious, she snuck down the corridor to take a look. The door was hung with a scarlet tarp and a biohazard sign. Food trays were piled on the floor outside, along with a cart of isolation suits and masks. Inside, she found an emaciated young man calling for his mother.
When Coker…

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