This is such a beautiful story!
A patient’s story of the Black surgeon who braided her hair went viral, inspiring even more people to seek out Black doctors, Essence reports.
This past June, India Marshall had to undergo skull surgery to remove benign bone growth on her forehead. When she awakened, she discovered that her glorious head of curls had been braided neatly, something she assumed the nurses did, making it easier to clean her incision. Upon her follow up visit with her surgeon, Dr. Jewel Greywoode, she discovered that he was the one who braided her hair, literally bringing tears to her eyes.
“So y’all know how I said I woke up from surgery with more braids in my head than I came in with, and I thought it was the Black nurses? I found out today at my post-op appointment that the surgeon (he’s Black) did it. He said he has three little girls, and they have wash day...I almost cried,” Marshall tweeted on social media.
so y’all know how I said I woke up from surgery w/more braids in my head than I came in w/and I thought it was the black nurses? I found out today at my post op appt that the surgeon (he’s black) did it. He said he has 3 little girls & they have wash day... I almost cried— india. (@IndiaDionna) June 24, 2020
The tweet quickly went viral, with many Black people musing that this is just one of many reasons why it’s essential to seek out a Black doctor. While some said they’d never realized the importance of it before, just reading Marshall’s tweet made them want to search high and low before their next appointment.
“I feel like there is a level of care and connection with Black doctors and Black patients that we don’t necessarily always get,” said Marshall.
Dr. Greywoode agreed, noting that his own experience with his daughters played a part and the underlying cultural understanding that allowed him to humanize his patient at that moment.
“The person that you are interacting with is an actual person, a family member or somebody else. And you don’t necessarily have to expect a viral reaction. But it definitely is important.
Once I took the [surgical] cap off, I saw that she had thick, dark, curly hair like my daughters’ hair. I undid the braids just where I needed to get access, and afterward, I used staples because every time you use stitches, you tend to cut hair. Nobody wants to have their hair cut or shaved, Greywoode said.
With the call for more diversity, inclusion and cultural competency in the medical field through various initiatives, mentoring programs, and the like, the exchange between Marshall and Dr. Greywoode is even more reason to seek out a Black doctor.
Sites like www.BlackDoctorsUSA.com are helping people to get connected now!
Keep helping the community, Dr. Greywoode!