Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Yvonne, patient in the 1960s, kept a pet rabbit on the verandah

I was transferred from St James Hospital Leeds to MH Hos around 1960 I would be about six years old then, I had an operation on my left hip cos I had osteomylitus. I was at MH Hos for about a year convalescing. I had a twin sister who they let in to see me but not very often, I really cannot recall much except that I learnt to walk again there. I can only recall kindness but I do remember having very long hair and much to my mothers dismay they cut it all off-she was mortified!. I recall being pushed out on my bed (I was on traction for 9 months) to the balcony for fresh air!!. I also had a pet rabbit while I was there and they allowed my brother to bring in a puppy he had bought for me!. I wish I remembered more like who the nurses were etc, but I have lost both parents now so cannot even jog their memories. I have a silver spoon awarded to me for the silver jubilee of the hospital and I also have an actual visitors pass that my parents used to use for admission to see me. All so long ago but quite an important time in my life! I have tried to see if any records exist so that I could find out the actual period I was there but don’t know where to look, I also tried to find out if the hospital was still there but again have drawn a blank-can you help?

I live in Egremont, Cumbria now but back then I lived in Armley Leeds.
Yvonne Farrer nee Galert.

Harry sparked off more memories for Jane

Your memories triggered off so many of my own, I think I need to do away and think about them.
I think you and I must have overlapped a little, if you were there 8 years from 1937 you must have left around 1945, and I went in in 1944. But if you were 10 when you left, and I was 4 when I entered, we may never have met, because I was in "small boys" at first - yes, boys and girls together, until we got to a certain age and were moved to girls only - can't think what age that would be, and you were in "boys". And of course we couldn't walk about and talk to people in other wards.

I had forgotten Mr Payne, for instance - though I remember his name now. I never saw it written down, and I also remember thinking of it as 'Pain' - he was the man who did operations and caused pain. Unfair really, he seems to have been a good surgeon. Can you remember what date you had the operation? Was it what they call a spinal fusion, where they take away the diseased part of the spine, and graft two vertebrae together to make one? That's the kind of operation I had, which is why I always was a little less 'bendy' than the people I went to school with.

When I left the hospital, I had to wear a kind of leather and steel corset, called a 'spika', encasing all of my torso and part of my left leg to just above the knee. I started going to school with this on. It made life quite difficult, especially if I fell over, as I couldn't bend enough to pick myself up, and had to lie there and wait for help. Some kids were pretty mean and used to just stand there laughing. Not a good memory.