Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dr. Jerri Nielson - March 1952 - June 2009

This is a wonderful and interesting book.

Dr. Jerri Lin Nielsen (née Cahill; March 1, 1952 – June 23, 2009) was an American physician with extensive ER experience[3], who in 1998 was hired to spend a year at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, as the station's only doctor[4].

During the southern winter, at a time when the station is physically cut off from the rest of the world, she developed breast cancer. Nielsen teleconferenced with medical personnel in the United States, and had to operate on herself in order to extract tissue samples for analysis. A military plane was later dispatched to the pole to airdrop equipment and medications. Her condition remained life-threatening, and the first plane to land at the station in the spring was sent several weeks earlier than planned, despite adverse weather conditions, to bring her to the U.S. as soon as possible. Her ordeal attracted a great amount of attention from the media, and Nielsen later wrote an autobiographical book recounting her story.[5]

Despite the extraordinary efforts of Nielsen and supporting crew and rescue team, her cancer was not cured by the available treatments. It recurred seven years later, eventually causing her death in 2009 from brain metastasic disease, eleven years after initial diagnosis.

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