Strength in What Remains was a book recommendation for physicians. It tells the story of Deogratis Niyizonkiza who leaves what would have been a promising life behind when as a 24 year old medical student he has to flee war-torn French-speaking Burundi for the streets of New York City with only $200 in his pocket and little knowledge of English.
We are placed in his shoes as he navigates his new life as an undocumented refugee who is tormented by the horrors he had witnessed in the Tutsi-Hutu civil war that also affected neighbouring Rwanda but who holds on to his dream of becoming a doctor and building a health clinic in remote Burundi.
Whether through luck or pure determination, Deo finds mentors and caregivers who guide him along the way to a Columbia undergraduate degree, permanent residency in the United States, Partners in Health and Paul Farmer, and a return to Burundi to come to terms with the horrors of his past, find his family, and build his clinic.
This is a very inspiring account of one person’s determination. As they say, where there is a will there is a way.