Episode 38 – Ruth Coker Burks

Derek and Kieran are honored to talk to Ruth Coker Burks. Ruth is a former caregiver for AIDS victims and an AIDS awareness advocate based in Hot Springs, Arkansas, USA.

During the AIDS epidemic in the late 1980’s, she used her salary as a real estate agent to care for AIDS patients whose families and communities had abandoned them. Due to the stigma surrounding the disease at the time, she was often the patients’ only caregiver until they eventually died. Ruth came to the aid of Jimmy, a young man dying of AIDS in hospital. She noticed no one would go into the room to bring his medication or food. The moment Ruth entered Jimmy’s room and soothed him as he died, her life and that of countless other men would change forever. Ruth is additionally recognized for burying more than forty AIDS victims in her family cemetery and helping those struggling to get assistance with housing, medication and to die with dignity and someone to call a friend. A truly remarkable lady who has recently released her memoir, All the Young Men, with her co writer, Kevin Carr O’ Leary. Let Christy take it subscribers and listeners can get a copy of the excellent all the young men at Bookstation with a 5% discount and free shipping in Ireland by using the code CHRISTYPOD at checkout. Visit https://www.bookstation.ie/product/all-the-young-men-how-one-woman-risked-it-all-to-care-for-the-dying-2/ to purchase a copy. If any listeners are affected by this episode of would like more information on HIV and AIDS please contact : HIV Ireland on 01- 8733799 or Email [email protected] more information can be found at https://www.hivireland.ie/