The face of AIDS at the end of the twentieth century is just as likely to belong to the homeless, the drug users, the poor and forgotten members of society as it is to gay men. Invisible to much of society and without the resources (political, emotional, and financial) to get help, these are the patients who end their days at the Spellman Center at St. Clare's Hospital in New York's Hell's Kitchen. But even in this carkest circumstance, in Spellman's chaotic and filthy hallways, redemption happens, life is reborn.
Daniel Baxter, who cared for the marginalized patients in conditions symbolic of their station in life, provides readers with an unprecedented profile of AIDS. Offering gritty details from his three-and-a-half years at Spellman, Baxter also passes along his memories of the hope that rises from AIDS's ashes -- the loving gesture where there was only hate, the lucidity where there was only confusion, the emotional connection where there was only alienation. Baxter tells the stories of patients living each day with grace in a place where people find a reason to care.
The stories...possess a Tolstoyan power....Clearly a man of immense sympathy and spiritual strength, Baxter here writes not only about the dying but also about the various ways that people confront death....Powerful reading.