Monty Barker

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 03 September 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h4584
  1. Glynn Harrison

Despite having been among the first to receive a new triple therapy for tuberculosis, the young medical student struck down with tuberculous meningitis in 1954 was expected to die. Confounding expectations, however, Monty Barker eventually recovered and lived for another 60 years.

A tendency to swim against the tide was something of a common theme in the life of Montagu Gordon Barker (“Monty”). Before applying for medicine at St Andrews University, for example, he studied classics. And a student who failed first year examinations so dismally was not expected to graduate cum laude. He achieved this while also earning a reputation as an expert in Church history, with more than …

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