Medicine: Survival of a Dark Age

The leper colony on the Hawaiian island of Molokai was a place of horror when Father Damien de Veuster, a Belgian Catholic priest, landed there in 1873. The victims of leprosy lived in primitive huts or roofless stone buildings; they died without medical care in an empty room furnished only by their waiting coffins. In his 16 years of heroic service on Molokai, which ended with his death from leprosy in 1889, Father Damien made many improvements, including a water system built largely with his own hands. Now the colony, located at Kalaupapa, has...

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