Healing in the Wilderness is an intriguing account of the United Church's 115 year-long commitment to providing medical aid to people scattered throughout Canada's vast wilderness. This unforgettable story reveals how medical missionaries responded to crises, emergencies and sudden illnesses -- including grizzly bear attacks and aeroplane crashes -- without modern technology or urban hospitals. It portrays the small missions and infirmaries and tells how their staff handled life and death in the deep bush, on mountain ranges, in Native villages, on trackless prairies and on distant islands. It describes the sacrifices of devoted physicians, nurses and their families as they healed the sick and wounded, often under dreadful circumstances and in primitive conditions. Author Bob Burrows is uniquely qualified to relate this fascinating narrative of the United Church Mission Hospitals. A United Church minister for more than four decades, he has piloted an aircraft and captained a ship to deliver care to remote areas of British Columbia.
He has also worked for both the BC and federal governments in positions of public trust dedicated to ensuring the human rights of aboriginal people, women and minority groups. Extensively researched and illustrated with many never before-seen photographs, Healing in the Wilderness will be a revelation and an inspiration to Canadians interested in the development of health care across the remotest regions of the country.
In 2001, Bob Burrows received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Victoria University, at the University of Toronto, in recognition of a lifetime of service to the United Church and his community. He began his work on the British Columbia coast as minister and captain of a mission boat based at Ocean Falls in 1960. From 1981-84 he was Chair of the national United Church Committee responsible for all mission hospitals across Canada. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.