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A Patient in the Fever Hospital
. . . . by John H Bean   sent 14th February 2013

   The Infectious Diseases Hospital, which was known  locally as the Fever Hospital, was situated in Flatts Lane directly opposite South Park (Titty Bottle Park).
   I am not certain of the precise date, but it was probably in 1937, when I was admitted suffering from scarlet fever.  In the days before there were antibiotics the disease was serious as disabling complications could develop, and even fatalities were not uncommon.  My memories of the treatment are somewhat vague, but I remember being given a glass of warm milk in the evening and occasional doses of Syrup of Figs.
   There must have been some music played, whether radio or gramophone I don't know, as one piece sticks in  my mind - Shirley Temple singing On The Good Ship Lollipop from one of her films.  One feature of the disease in its later stages was that the skin began to peel, so gloves or mittens were tied on the hands to stop the children pulling at the flakes of skin.
   I must have been kept in bed for several weeks as when I was finally allowed up I had lost the use of my legs and could not stand or walk.  I have a clear picture in my mind of nurses supporting me and walking me up and down the ward in order to regain the strength in my legs.
   One feature of the hospital experience which would not be accepted today was that there was no visiting allowed, as all the diseases being treated were infectious.  An adult would be able to understand the reason and accept it, but for very young children it was hard, as on top of being ill they were in a strange environment among faces they did not recognise.  What made it worse was that parents and friends would visit the hospital but could only look through the ward windows from the outside.  Not surprisingly this caused some distress, especially when the parents left.  I seem to remember some crying at this juncture.
   One final disappointment for me was that when I was eventually discharged I was told that a favourite toy, which I must have asked to be sent to me, would have to remain in the hospital as it might be infectious.  Whether this reason was in fact true I do not know, but I do recall being most upset at having to leave my toy behind.
  --------- Regards, John Bean (Thirsk, N.Yorkshire) ---------
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Normanby Hospital 2002 from Park





Normanby Hospital & Nurses 1950s