Honoring Our Medical Heroes


by Shelly Mathis
GCLD Library Services Specialist

When the pandemic hit this spring, first responders and medical personnel risked their lives to care for the sick and dying. Do you remember watching videos of people creatively honoring these medical heroes? I certainly do.

Hospitals were surrounded by honking cars in which people flashed headlights and displayed signs in gratitude. Whistles, shouts, and applause resounded from nearby buildings. What a way to bolster morale!

In honor of these heroes, the GCLD Virtual Book Club explored medical reads this fall. Listed below are five favorites: 100,000 Hearts: A Surgeon’s Memoir (Denton A. Cooley) Dr. Denton Cooley was the first surgeon to complete a successful heart transplant in the United States. Cooley attended John Hopkins Medical Center before World War II and practiced surgery until the age of 84. Most importantly, he saved the life of a club member’s husband. A fascinating read of a personal hero!

Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu and How It Changed the World (Laura Spinney)

Both enlightening and alarming, this account of the Spanish Flu parallels what we are experiencing with the COVID-19 virus. The Spanish Flu traveled the world on boats, each arrival initiating a fresh wave. Its currency is gripping and makes for an enjoyable book to listen to on Libby by OverDrive.

Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art (James Nestor)
Breath. Have you ever taken it for granted? If you want to discover all of the health benefits of breathing properly through your nose rather than your mouth, this book is for you. It includes instructions for “the perfect breath” and plenty of breathing exercises to try.

A Sporting Chance: How Paralympics Founder Lutwig Guttmann Saved Lives with Sports (Lori Alexander)
Doctors used to consider spinal injuries as hopeless cases. Lutwig Guttman changed everything. Challenging current practices, Guttman created a ward for spinal injury patients in which he tested new methods to help patients survive and thrive. To show the families of his patients what they could do in spite of the injuries, he invented the Paralympics. A truly incredible story!

Mercy Road: A Novel (Ann Howard Creel) (Fiction) If you were a woman, knew how to drive, and spoke French fluently, you could serve your country as an ambulance driver during World War I. Heroine Arlene Favier supports her family back home by joining an all-female team of doctors and nurses to serve on the frontlines in France. This gentle medical romance is sure to please.

You can review the club’s remaining book choices by searching our catalog with the phrase favorite medical reads. Click the first search result titled “Virtual Book Club’s Favorite Medical Reads” to access the entire list.

Ready for some inspiration, the club’s winter genre is All Things Sports. To participate, contact a librarian at the Kremmling Library (970-724-9228) or Hot Sulphur Springs Library (970-725-3942) to learn more. Parties celebrating the genre are slated for February 1, 2021 at the Kremmling Library and February 3, 2021 at the Hot Sulphur Springs Library.