Point of View: Heartbreak


By Rosalie Hughes ’07

Dartmouth Medicine magazine’s “Point of View” essay provides personal insight or opinion on some issue in medicine or science. Author Rosalie Hughes graduated from Dartmouth College in 2007 and has worked abroad since then, including in Nepal (see the article “Medicine in the Mountains” in the Fall 2009 issue of Dartmouth Medicine for an account of one of her experiences there, high in the Himalayas); in East Africa; and, currently, in Tunisia.

“I am ready to tell the truth,” is the first thing Liban tells me. I had skimmed his file before my interview with him, so I already know that he’s a 37-year-old Eritrean male, that he is married and has four kids, and that his wife and children are still living back in Asmara, the capital of Eritrea.

Liban has “a serious heart condition.” His file is padded with doctors’ notes and certifications by the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, and numerous other agencies and hospitals, all stating that Liban will die soon if he does not get surgery. The surgery is not available in Uganda, where he is now living as a refugee and where I am a caseworker for a nonprofit that helps refugees resettle in the U.S. on humanitarian grounds.

“What do you mean you’re ready to tell the truth?” I ask.

“What I said before was a lie.”

Read the full story at Dartmouth Medicine magazine.

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