Surgeon’s simple act starts greater conversation online about race, diversity

CHARLOTTE — A surgeon’s simple act for one of his patients started an online conversation about diversity, race and compassion.

India Marshall, 29, went into surgery to remove bone growth in her head.

Marshall noticed her hair had been braided to keep it from the incisions after the operation.

[‘Talking about Race’: Starting an honest conversation]

Marshall tweeted, “So y’all know how I said I woke up from surgery w/more braids in my head than I came in w/and I thought it was the black nurses? I found out today at my post op appt that the surgeon (he’s black) did it. He said he has 3 little girls & they have wash day... I almost cried.”

The tweet was retweeted more than 72,000 times and was liked more than 587,000 times.

Marshall explained how Greywoode used staples, not stitches to preserve her hair.

The surgeon, Dr. Jewel Greywood, is with Charlotte Eye Ear Nose and Throat Associates.

“I really did not expect to wake up the next morning and see that -- how many different retweets and likes,” Greywood said.

The surgeon said it isn’t the first time he had done this. He said his sister taught him to braid, and he’s had a lot of practice with his daughters.

“As black women, especially, we don’t get that a lot,” Marshall said. “So, I just wanted to share with other people how important it is for us to have providers that not only look like us but can identify with us.”