Gifted Hands- The Ben Carson Story
Ben Carson becomes a world-class pediatric neurosurgeon at the prestigious Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD. Growing up in poverty-stricken Detroit with his mother and elder brother, Curtis, Ben could have never dreamed of the future that lay ahead for him. When 9-year-old Ben's father abandons his family, his heart is broken with the hurt lasting a life-time.
Ben's mother, Sonya, is the driving force in her sons' young lives. Sonya was born in rural Tennessee and had 23 siblings. To escape her harsh existence, Sonya married at 13. Despite her third-grade education, Sonya was an intelligent woman who knew that education was paramount for her sons to escape the ghetto and have successful lives. Though working three jobs at a time, Sonya is a task master. The boys are allowed to watch only two hours of TV a week and have to read two books each week, providing Sonya with book reports. The boys are not thrilled with the set-up but love and respect their mother and comply with her rules.
There were many temptations and challenges for Ben and Curtis that could have led them astray. Ben falls under peer pressures and demands "cool" clothes to fit in with the other kids. He develops an attitude for a short period and his grades begin to suffer, but Sonya does not give up on him nor on her goals for her sons. She continues to focus on what is important and keeps driving home the values of education and success as a priority. Throughout their formative years, Sonya tells her boys they can be whatever they want and that reading will help them realize their dreams. She never once gave up on them. Sonya inspired Ben's strong Christian beliefs which he maintains his whole life. So many times when Ben is up against impossible odds, he prays to God and always finds his way through them.
Ben begins to believe in himself and works hard at becoming one of the best kids in class in junior and senior high school. Although he faces racial prejudice and ridicule from some classmates and even some teachers, Ben perseveres always hearing his mother's words in the back of his head. Due to his outstanding academic achievements and his high SAT scores, Ben is sought out by the best schools in the country. Ben finally settles on the prestigious Yale University where he receives a full academic scholarship. Very early own Ben knows that he will be a doctor—there is never a doubt about his career from that point on. Ben works toward his goal in every class he takes and places very high in his graduating class at Yale. While at Yale, Ben meets Candy who is a few years behind him. She is smart, a talented musician and from Ben's home state. Their initial friendship grows into a romance. Candy eventually becomes Ben's wife. Ben continues on to medical school, selecting Michigan State which has a great medical school, is affordable and close to home.
During his time in medical school, Ben becomes an outstanding student and is the one that always knows the answers. The interns and residents start to rely on Ben to help them carry out their duties. Although Ben's first vision was to become a missionary doctor or a psychiatrist, he starts to become interested in neurosurgery. Ben hears some news that may jeopardize the neurosurgery department at the University of Michigan and applies at Johns Hopkins for the remainder of medical school. Being accepted at this world-class teaching hospital was a turning point in Ben's medical career. Ben goes on to a stellar career as the Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins, leading surgical teams in difficult and controversial surgeries including separating conjoined twins sharing parts of their skulls. Ben Carson has become an inspiration to all races and to young and old alike.
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