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Elizabeth Anionwu: the ‘cool, black and exceptional’ nurse who fought to make the NHS fairer – The Guardian

After a childhood scarred by abuse and racism, she revolutionised the treatment of sickle cell disease and – inspired by Mary Seacole – fought inequality in nursing…



When Elizabeth Nneka Anionwu was a child, she had severe eczema bad enough to need daily dressings and slatherings of coal tar paste. Brought up in care until she was nine by nuns at the Nazareth House convent in Birmingham, she remembers this as torture. None of the nuns were deliberately trying to hurt me, but they would tear the bandaging off and my skin would come with it, she says.
The exception was when a nun dressed in white, rather than the usual black habit, turned up to look after her….

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