Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Local physician who survived Cambodia's Killing Fields as a child talks about her journey to become a doctor and how she now helps veterans suffering from PTSD.
Maureen Cavanaugh: There are many physicians at Veterans Administration hospitals who treat combat veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. But few of those doctors have the deep and profound experience of the trauma of war that rests in the memory of my guest, Dr. Sopheap Ly.
Dr. Ly and her family were caught up in the national nightmare that overtook Cambodia in the 1970s - the takeover by the Communist Khmer Rouge. During the four years Pol Pot and his followers were in power, it's estimated more than one and a half million Cambodians were killed.
Many Americans are familiar with the unimaginable cruelty of that regime through the book and movie called The Killing Fields. But Dr. Ly lived through the nightmare and has now written her own book, about her survival and her unstoppable dream of achieving a better life.
Dr. Sopheap Ly, professor of medicine at UCSD and physician with the VA of San Diego. Her new book, No Dream Beyond My Reach, is due out later this month.