What I coincidentally discovered,while watching a rather odd documentary on the history of surgical developments (don't ask how I came to find this, let alone kept watching!) was that a French doctor pioneered stitching of blood vessels after watching a President of France be stabbed and bleed to death. It inspired him to look at ways to stitch up tears in blood vessels.
And who taught him? An expert French needlewoman, of course.
He went to her to learn how to stitch and after many,many months of practice he moved onto experimenting on dead animals and eventually people. This was over one hundred years ago. But isn't it good to know that the skills of wielding a small needle so effectively have helped save so many people over the last hundred years or so - and over the last week in Christchurch.
Long live the needlewomen and their needles!