Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
By: Sean Hardy
Summary of the book
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, is a book about the HeLa cells and how they were wrongfully taken from Henrietta Lacks. Henrietta went to Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1951, to get a "knot" on her cervix looked at. The doctors found she had cervical cancer that was spreading very rapidly. During the examination, some tissue was removed some of the tumor without Mrs. Lacks knowledge, and sent to George Gey's lab. Gey was the head of tissue cultures at John Hopkins and had been trying to get cells to divide on their own for years. The cells began to grow very rapidly and Gey had made a medical break though, but never informed the family.
Eventually the cells were distributed all over the world, and become a huge business with great financial gain. The Lacks family found out about the cells but because they were not well off financially, and were poorly educated they did not understand about the cells. They were confused and thought Henrietta was still alive in these labs. The Lackses were also upset that other people were gaining profit from Henrietta's cells while they were still very poor.
Rebecca Skloot, the author in this book, works to uncover the truth about Henrietta's story and help the family gain some understanding of the situation, and also let the world know that the HeLa cells were wrongfully taken.