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Sterling Haynes Book Launch in Kelowna

Posted: Friday, April 23, 2010

Sterling Haynes will launch his book, Wake-Up Call: Tales from a Frontier Doctor at the Unitarian Fellowship of Kelowna (1310 Bertram Street), on Saturday, April 24 from 2:00 — 4:00 pm.

In his second book, Wake-Up Call, Sterling Haynes begins by telling us that at the age of seventy a left hemisphere stroke rearranged his brain. “My right creative side took over and I started to write poetry and humour. I was left with a partially paralyzed right foot, but a writer’s creative right brain. I think I got the better of the deal, a new brain in trade for a foot. The funny episodes in my medical practice became hilarious. The sad, melancholy parts of my life’s memories looked less bleak.”  

Haynes goes on to share the humorous and sometimes bizarre tales of his life as a doctor; a man shoots off his big toe in a drunken binge and then begs the doc to get him to Sunday Mass on time, an inmate swallows a spoon to avoid solitary confinement, an accident with a Murphy bed leaves a man hanging for more than ten hours.

“I worked long hours, made house calls, went out with the ambulance and flew to remote accident areas, sometimes receiving payment in kind: hinds of beef, lamb and moose, bags of potatoes and turnips and on one occasion, a big game guide brought me a four point buck in payment for delivering his first son, leaving the dressed carcass in the centre of my waiting room. ”

Haynes tells it like it was in these tales of a frontier doctor, from Williams Lake to Alabama. Raised in Alberta, Sterling Haynes received his medical degree from the University of Alberta. He served as a colonial officer in Nigeria and practised medicine in the Cariboo, Alberta and Alabama. Now retired, he lives in Westbank, BC, and travels extensively in Central America. His articles and poetry have been published in journals including The Canadian Journal of Rural Medicine and the Medical Post.