PROFILE Lauren Roche
Former prostitute Lauren Roche took a long and difficult path to becoming a doctor. She tells Ruth Little how she overcame abuse, drugs, and alcohol and is now a general practitioner and author
“I finished medical school in November 1991. Only ten years earlier I was working as a prostitute,” writes Lauren Roche in part two of her autobiography: this New Zealander has overcome incredible obstacles to achieve her dream of becoming a doctor.
Lauren had an abusive childhood and lost her mother to suicide at 14. She left school then, and she stowed away to the United States a year later. She was the victim of a gang rape while hitchhiking and was later imprisoned for three weeks for immigration violation at age 16. After returning to New Zealand, Lauren became pregnant for the first time at the age of 17. For the next few years she held a variety of jobs, including stripper and prostitute, and she worked at Kentucky Fried Chicken. Lauren misused alcohol and drugs during this period and had depression. Aged 20, she chose to leave this life