When the AIDS epidemic hit Arkansas in the early 1980s, Ruth Coker Burks was just a young mother in her early twenties.
She didn’t have any medical training, but she took it upon herself to care for AIDS patients who were abandoned by their families and the medical professionals who feared the disease.
Some families, though, were different.
At StoryCorps, Ruth sat down with her friend Jim Harwood, one father who stayed by his son’s side.
They remember his son, Raymond, and what the early days of the AIDS crisis were like.
Listen to Ruth’s interview with Paul Wineland, the partner of another AIDS patient she cared for during this time.