Bmj Usa

The doctor, teacher, daughter

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 17 March 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:E342
  1. Rebekah Wang-Cheng, professor of medicine (
  1. Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

I wanted to cry as I walked into the hospital room and saw him lying there, too weak to even smile at me, but his eyes searching my face for help, hope, answers… Two days before my mom had phoned me, fear and panic in her voice, as she told me that he couldn't walk or swallow food or water. I told her to call an ambulance, and I'd arrange to be there as soon as possible.

My dad, who had just turned 90, had been slowly declining since his thoracic compression fractures the year before. On a recent visit home, a four hour drive away, I had noticed that he was moving slowly with small shuffling steps, his …

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