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June 13, 1986

Lisa H.: The True Story of an Extraordinary and Courageous Woman

JAMA. 1986;255(22):3176. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370220138045

This book is the biography of a woman who was born with severe facial neurofibromatosis. Subjected to social and psychic hurts from infancy, she underwent 16 operations by age 21 years, five in the most recent two years. These latter operations received national attention, because the public relations department of the hospital contacted a sensitive reporter who interviewed the patient and her family and friends. He later recorded the deliberations and observed the operations performed by the dedicated and skilled team of physicians who attempted to correct the conditon.

The cruel insults by adults in public areas like shopping centers and buses, the physical abuse by children in playgrounds, Lisa's almost nightly silent tears, and the anguish of her devoted family are all delicately, albeit painfully, recorded. Halloween, Valentine's day, and school dances always intensified her plight.

On the positive side are the love, devotion, and care given by her