lest-we-forget-9781632280633_lgKwan Kew Lai '74 On Her New Book, Lest We Forget: A Doctor's Experience with Life and Death During the Ebola Outbreak
Kwan Kew Lai '74 will be speaking about her new book Lest We Forget: A Doctor's Experience on Life and Death During the Ebola Outbreak at Swarthmore College on Tuesday, February 5, 2019 at 4:30 p.m. The lecture will take place in the Scheuer Room in Kohlberg Hall. There will be a book discussion with students and guests, with a reception to follow. The campus bookstore will be on hand to sell copies of the book.


About Dr. Lai
Kwan Kew Lai, M.D., D.M.D., is an infectious disease specialist who has volunteered her medical services all over the world. In 2004, after the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, she spent three weeks in India, caring for survivors. She soon left her position as a full-time Professor of Medicine in Infectious Diseases and Internal Medicine at UMass Memorial Medical Center and created a half-time position as a clinician, dedicating the other half of her time to humanitarian work.
Since 2005, Lai has volunteered as a mentor to health workers addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Vietnam, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa, Nigeria, and Malawi, and has provided earthquake relief in Haiti and Nepal, hurricane relief in the Philippines, and drought and famine relief in Kenya and the Somalia border. She has also worked with refugees of the Democratic Republic of Congo, internally displaced people in Libya during the Arab Spring and South Sudan after the civil war, and treated Ebola patients in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Most recently, she served as a medical volunteer in Haiti and in the Syrian refugee camps in Greece. 
Originally from Penang, Malaysia, Lai came to the United States after receiving a scholarship to attend Wellesley, where she studied molecular biology. “Without that open door I would not have gone on to become a doctor,” Lai wrote in her Doctors Without Borders bioIn 2017, Wellesley presented Lai with the college's highest honor, the Alumnae Achievement Award. 

About the Book
Lest We Forget chronicles the harrowing and inspiring time spent serving on the front lines of the ongoing Ebola outbreak—the complicated Personal Protective Equipment, the chlorine-scented air, the tropical heat, and the heartbreaking difficulties of treating patients she could not touch. Dr. Lai interweaves original diary entries to create a gripping narrative about life, death, and human relationships that will leave no reader unmoved.

Lest We Forget exposes the raw brutality of Ebola, as well as the chaotic nature of the undersupplied and understaffed health infrastructure in the developing world. At once a memoir of triumphs and failures and a memorial, this book will ensure that the victims of Ebola and the fighters who sought to heal them will not be forgotten.


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