A harrowing account of one man's fight against death and disease in the Japanese hell-camps during the war in the Pacific.
Thousands of Allied prisoners-of-war died building the infamous Bangkok-Burma railroad. Many of those who survived owed their lives to the efforts of doctors like Stanley Pavillard.
Their captors looked on with callous indifference as dysentery and disease ripped through the camps while Pavillard and his fellow doctors carried out life-saving operations in brutal conditions: giving blood-transfusions with jam-jars and unclean syringes, removing appendixes by candlelight, operating with razors and bent spoons and going to any length to get the drugs and food which kept so many of the sick and starving prisoners precariously on their feet until the end.
Pavillard’s memoir Bamboo Doctor is a stark but inspiring record of the triumph of humanity in even the most difficult circumstances.