Henrietta Lacks was a young woman raised on a tobacco farm that ended up saving millions of people. She was diagnosed of cancer during a time when doctors were in need of a special type of cell in which she had. However, she wasn't aware of the cells being taken from her body. These cells were cancer cells that could duplicate at an amazing rate. She died of uremia in October 4th,1951 completely unaware that her cells were taken.
After the death of Henrietta Lacks the cells were sold throughout the country and even to other countries. No credit was given to Henrietta, not even her family knew how important her cells were, nor did they know they were being distributed.
The hela cells are little cancer cells that have changed the world, the cells can reproduce at an extraordinary rate, the cells have been used to fight polio,they've been in space, and even been used in nuclear testing. The hela cell is great for testing, almost all colleges use them, as well as labs.
- A important invention in the discovery of the hela cells is undoubtedly the roller drum, the roller drum was created by George Gey. The roller drum was created to maintain a certain culture, which was very important in keeping hela cells alive.
- When TeLinde first called George Gey to come and take a look at the cells at John Hopkins it was the first step of the realization that hela cells are extraordinary. At that time their was a very bad polio epidemic, thankfully, TeLinde made that call.
- After realizing that the cells were very important, George Gey made his first appearance on television. On the show he explained the mysterious cells.
- Alexis carrel was a french surgeon at Rockfeller Institute who grew an immortal chicken heart. The chicken heart was steadily pumping whilst outside of the body. Carrel became a huge celebrity after winning the Nobel Prize. People believed that his discovery could make people immortal and also make monsters, this made many people scared of hela cells. Later after Carrel died, it was found out that carrel used other substances besides hela cells.
- A very important part of the book is when Henrietta Lacks died, if Henrietta were no to die she may have found out her cells . When she would have found out she could have sued, unlike her family.
"[Hopkins] was built in 1889 as a charity hospital for the sick and poor, and it covered more than a dozen acres where a cemetery and insane asylum once sat in East Baltimore. The public wards at Hopkins were filled with patients, most of them black and unable to pay their medical bills. (15)"
This quote really shows how bad off African Americans had it, The the mental institutions were so overcrowded that many members were failed to be fed. Many experiments were done on the patients such as brain scans when all of the fluid is drained from the head and filled with gas to have x rays, when this happens spinal fluid can leak and end up giving the person a terrible head ache. The treatment wasn't just bad at mental institutions, it was also bad at hospitals, black patients couldn't go to white hospitals, so one would be lucky to live somewhat close to a colored hospital.
Formerly known as the House of the negro insane, now called Crownsville hospital was an insane asylum where Elsie Henrietta daughter was sent to.