Dr Lucille Teasdale

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Lucille Teasdale was born in 1929 in Montreal, Canada, the fourth of seven children. At fourteen while attending the St. Emilie College, she decides to become a "missionary doctor in the East Indies". After obtaining her medical degree "cum laude" in 1955 and completing her internship at the Hôpital Sainte Justine pour les Enfants in Montreal, she enters the specialisation course in surgery. During this period she meets Piero Corti, a young Italian physician who is carrying out a stage in paediatrics at the same hospital, and to whom she confides her youthful dream.

In 1960 she again meets Piero Corti while carrying out a stage in surgical paediatrics in France, and accepts his offer to help him out for a few months in Gulu, Uganda, in the small mission hospital where he has decided to work.

The arrived in Lacor Hospital in May 1961, and were married in the Comboni sister's chapel in the Hospital on December 5th, 1961.

From 1961 to 1982 Lucille is in charge of the surgical activity and the adult out-patient department (in Gulu children over six years of age are included in the adult population). She is also in charge of teaching the numerous Italian doctors during their three-months' training before undertaking their two years' civil service in substitution for the compulsory military conscription. She is member of the East African Surgeons Association from 1978 to 1984. From 1982 she is in charge of the surgical training during the one-year internship of Ugandan medical graduates from Makerere University in Kampala. Her consultation is often requested from other hospitals in Northern Uganda. From the early eighties, she reduces her activity in the operating theatres to 3 days a week due to the availability of other surgeons, mostly sent by the Cooperation Department of the Italian Ministry of External Affairs. Her surgical activity at this time focuses on paediatric surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology and to particularly difficult surgical cases.

Most of her time is devolved to the adult out-patient department and to the training of Ugandan medical interns from Makerere. From 1990 to 1992 she further reduces her surgical activity to the few most difficult cases, as her surgically acquired HIV infection progresses, but increases the adult out-patient activity and is also in charge of the newly built 60 bed tuberculosis ward, where over 60% of patients is HIV positive. She continues her activity until April 1996, when she returns to Italy because of a significant progression of her disease, where she dies few months later on August 1st, 1996.

Both Lucille and Piero have received a number of international acknowledgements and prizes.