I remember meeting Dr Dowsett just once, many years ago, at an ME conference. Some items written by her are available online – click here for further details. The following is by Simon Lawrence of the 25% ME Group -
Dr Elizabeth Dowsett
19th September 1920 - 14th June 2012
A True Hero
By Simon Lawrence, 25% ME Group
We hear every day of people who do amazing things and who are portrayed as heroes for their actions. We also hear of heroic characters in films, novels, comic books and the like.
However, I feel certain that many of you within the ME community, when hearing the sad news of Dr Elizabeth (Betty) Dowsett’s death, will no doubt remember her as someone who truly deserved the title of hero.
She was someone who was relentlessly courageous in fighting the establishment on their stance of ME. She was sympathetic and empathetic to all who contacted her for help and support. She was someone who did not seek glory or try to make a name for herself in all that she did for others but simply did it because, as a doctor and, more importantly, as a human being, she felt it was her duty to help and, indeed, took great pleasure in helping people with this disease.
Over the decades she has helped in countless different ways, many thousands of people throughout the world. Many knew and thought of her as a personal friend because she was so warm and caring in all her dealings and treatment of people. She cared, showed empathy and loved people and she fought tirelessly to try to put an end to the injustice and mistreatment of people with ME.
She was one of the last remaining of the group of doctors from the Ramsay era who believed in ME as it really is, unlike today where we have all sorts of theories and scandalous activities that are truly harming people with ME. People are dying of ME and people are left paralysed by ME. Dr Betty Dowsett was someone who was truly upset about this and who worked day and night to help change the situation and even fought in the face of the establishment and other ME organisations that she felt were “dumping down” ME.
In a world where we are so often left to suffer and be denigrated as ME sufferers, it was refreshing to meet someone who really did care and, at the same time, who never sought monetary gain from her services or some selfish recognition for doing what she felt was right.
Betty you were not just a personal friend, and someone who was passionate about what you believed was right, but you were also a true hero and angel sent by God.
Thank you for all you did for me and for many people throughout the world.
You will be greatly missed and will forever remain in our hearts and minds.