The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks: Chapter 32-38 Summary

In chapter 32 children of Henrietta Lacks decide to see the cells of their mother for the first time in their life. Not all of them come. Lawrence is tired of constant discussions about HeLa cells, which he considers to be the profanation of their mother’s memory because of money. Sonny is working. Henrietta’s husband is ill and can not come, because his leg has been amputated recently. Only Deborah goes to the hospital (Skloot, 2011, p. 173).

In chapter 33 Deborah and Rebecca go to the Crownsville Hospital Center in search of the information about Elsie Lacks. Se turns out to have serious asbestos problems. The doctors had the possibility to save her life, but there were too many patients in the hospital and the personnel did not have time for everyone (Skloot, 2011, p. 198).

In chapter 34 Rebecca and Deborah read medical records about Henrietta, which are not structured and mixed with Henrietta’s poems. They reflect the reality of that time that black people had no money to afford treatment from cancer (Skloot, 2011, p. 202).

In chapter 35 Deborah talks to Gary about her worries concerning Henrietta’s cells. As a religious person, she is afraid of cloning. She considers the cells of her mother and the information about Elsie to be the burden (Skloot, 2011, p. 214).

In chapter 36 theological discussions with Gary continue and Deborah understands that Henrietta is immortal because of her contribution to medicine (Skloot, 2011, p. 218).

In chapter 37 Deborah learns that she is ill and she needs to avoid stress. She has high level of sugar in blood and high blood pressure. The investigation is continued only by Rebecca (Skloot, 2011, p. 220).

In chapter 38 Rebecca finishes the research about Henrietta Lacks. All participants of the story except Deborah died and Rebecca goes to show the book to the daughter of Henrietta (Skloot, 2011, p. 228).


Scloot, R. (2011). The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Broadway Books.

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