Sagebrush Surgeon

by Florence Crannell Means
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Level 11

The young doctor washed his hands over and over, stuck them into the sterilized gloves, and held them stiffly before him while the nurse tied the surgeon’s gown across his broad back. The girl who lay waiting on the operating table was his first Navajo surgical patient. Her family, sitting on the hall floor, were pioneers in the unknown. 

When Dr. Clarence Salsbury, his wife, and their son move to the Navajo reservation as medical missionaries, they are faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges. The Salsburys quickly discover that they must not only work to construct a hospital, provide irrigation, and train Navajo nurses, but also overcome other obstacles such as isolation and cultural differences. Before they know it, what was intended to be a two-year mission turns into the work of a lifetime.

Faced with the daunting tasks ahead, the Salsbury family seeks the help of other missionaries, translators, and the Navajo People to realize their dream of bringing Christianity and modern medicine to the Navajo Nation.

126 pages

This book is integrated with the High School 2 Language Arts course.

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