A highlight from Dame Elizabeth Anionwu: the heritage of racism, the politics of health


We don't see ourselves as part of the establishment. In fact the closest we come is calling ourselves we when all this is is one man in a room with a microphone. An arts council grant all that changes today. However as we play host to dame elizabeth anyanwu one of the bbc's list of one hundred most influential women in the world. In twenty twenty awarded the damehood for her work on sickle cell and fallacy mia. She was born in birmingham to a nigerian father and an irish mother. A dual heritage. That is the subject of her book. Mixed blessings from a cambridge union raised in a convent. She was inspired to become a nurse at the tender age of four for all the plaudits and awards. Perhaps what makes dame elizabeth even more of a pillar of the establishment is the fact that earlier this year. She was a castaway on desert island discs. It's been quite the life so far and so naturally we start by talking about. I experienced my first death that eighteen very naive shelter. Kid i mean you know. I had a very sheltered Experience to be thrust on award and just told by third year student nurse going. Help this The i jin knows we're in sankoh to lay out a body. I mean come on you know no no no sort of preparation you just get on with it. And it was emotionally quite. Can you ever that sort of thing. Can you prepare for that sort of thing. I think you can actually prepare students at least shine with students. A more experienced person sharing with new students their their feelings and experiences stay carried out laying out to a that individual and does so in that. You're not surprised at the reaction that you care because if you're not prepared for the reaction it go away feeling really guilty sometimes I mean described in my memoirs. The friend Say team haven't been told to prepare this decision. Gentlemen four The motoring and he was he was huge. And it is optimum was huge because of the nature of the illness that he had died from. Collective fluid is optimum. Nobody prepared us for that. We've just gone gone to if somebody sign. Look just be aware that when you go in the because when we will into the wasn't even a cubicle Cutting off area of the ward always saw was a sheet over this body in the sheet going like that literally and then obtuse. What would moses face and we both looked at each other and we were both short I had to get from one side of the bed. And my frank gore. On the other side we had to wash this gentleman's forte which which which required turning him over uh so that we could While she's bad. Now that i think we want the students that should have been sentenced. Should've sent taller bicker students into on because it was it was really. It was actually quite scary task us so when i pushed the gentleman over towards Friends so that nobody had prepared us for the expulsion of air. That can happen with a dead person. Now come on. So what did we hear as well. We just hysterical and hysterical laughter on the ward system. Curtis because we're quite near office and the she she slightly with the curtains back. Push them close them quickly after stunned that just that made it even worse. Of course though tears. Coming down our This awful. She was fantastic. Dogs she was. I mean that's what teachers should be like. She shop with us in the sense of color. Gentlemen come into my office. Fortunately didn't have to walk very far when she shut the door but before she showed doshi called another nurse and she whispered something to Don't go on their shopping. What she does not to do was to go and get some sympathy and imagine 'cause she realized the shock we win and the fear that we were in. because we we've been discovered not she crying. We were petrified Look stop okay. You don't need to call you know in any trouble and then started to explore interests. look She was crossed with the third year students. Who should have been with us is. We shouldn't have been left alone so it was the first experience in this. And she does the thirtieth students to organize getting another student to help. An unbeknown to the boards Just got to first year students and told them to get on with them. So you know there's also things going on and in the end you know she sought with us not with us and that she called the thirty student in who gave her taking awfully. It was wiling at one point unless she stopped us. All come on servicemen and we had this team biscuits with what was interesting. She talked about death and dying she. She turned into sorta tutorial. I've always remembered that in terms of the vote that we will not in teaching junior. Stop jimmy people fascinating work. It switched from where it was like. We were going to be punished and fearful to very nice detoro. Thank you very much. Is it what you is what you didn't visage when you're reading from your the the biography on you're under website here at the age of four urine spots yes dark. Most of it was because what's attracted me to. Nursing was having experienced the from her a brilliant nurse who happened to be a non in a under under under nurse in the catholic church. Sign that. I grew up in the age of nine and i'd had very bad expert and the way she distracted me from pain while she was taking the dressing off you know are never forget. That young job and this was a loved about was just associated with not feeling any pain whereas if i went to another nun who didn't use that similar approach it would be a very painful experience. The dressing quite torn off but just taken off briskly and Yeah and i thought. I want because of the positive experience i had with this known. I wanted to be like not to none but analogous to care. Oh from three three months of eight. My mother looked me in a mother of bay behind. Actually for six of six. Another tough me. i didn't. I didn't know the exact period. She looks to me early until i was decide to write my memoirs tonight contacted the nostril house organization. That ran the children's see if they had any photographs of me. They didn't have any photographs but they sent me. This incredible dossier full my records that they had so

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