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A Good Knight For Children:  C. Henry Kempe's Quest to Protect the Abused Child by Annie Kempe

A Good Knight For Children: C. Henry Kempe's Quest to Protect the Abused Child

by Annie Kempe

248 pages
Biography of Henry Kempe: pediatrician, virologist, and pioneer in child abuse.

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Category: Biography
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About the Book
A Good Knight For Children is the inspiring story of Dr. C. Henry Kempe, told from the perspective of his daughter, Annie Kempe.

Born into a Jewish family in Germany during the rise of the Nazi party, this disillusioned teenager, separated from his family, fled his own country to make his way to the United States of America. Against enormous odds, the isolated young man would rapidly assimilate into his new world, learn a new language, complete high school and college, and eventually become a physician. Specializing in the study of virology, he would travel independently to India, driven to help research, treat, and eradicate the devastating epidemic of smallpox infection.

As a young but motivated pediatrician and virologist, Henry Kempe would be the youngest ever to assume the chairmanship of the pediatrics department at the University of Colorado. During his tenure there, he was horrified to recognize the prevalence of “non-accidental” injuries to children. This highly respected academician found himself demanding of his colleagues and trainees a better diagnostic investigation of the unexplained and life-threatening injuries observed in children at four different hospital emergency rooms: shattered bones, inflicted burns, brain damage. Ever the medical maverick, Henry Kempe emphatically called attention to the formerly hidden epidemic of child abuse on an international level. By announcing and publishing his research findings under the newly coined and emotionally powerful phrase, “The Battered Child Syndrome,” Henry Kempe would change the world, and would give new hope to abused children everywhere.

Dr. C. Henry Kempe took an unexpected and heroic detour from his virology research and his career as an educator of fellow physicians to identify, confront, treat, and eventually prevent the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse of children. This story of his life and times is enriched by Dr. Kempe’s personal letters to his family, written during his world travels, by the recollections of his former colleagues, and by the hauntingly poignant photographs of his youth and adventures. The life work of this health care innovator and pioneer in the recognition and treatment of child abuse represents an inspiring example of what can be accomplished by a single idealistic person who confronts a human problem, and courageously takes the steps needed to turn a vision into reality.



About the Author
Annie Kempe Annie Kempe is an occupational therapist with two “grown and flown” children, and lives in Boulder, Colorado. As the second of C. Henry Kempe’s five daughters, she adds a personal perspective to the story of this influential physician and advocate for children everywhere.



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