Cresson TB Sanatorium Remembered
Loraine Michael
My TB Experience at Cresson TB Sanitarium, Pennsylvania.   

My name is Loraine Shard Michael.  I was born on 4/12/1931.  We lived in Wilkes Barre, Pa.  While in the 7th grade, I was diagnosed with early TB.  I went to Cresson TB Sanitarium in January of 1944 and stayed and graduated from 8th grade in June of 1945.  Because I had gained weight and was better, I went home in July to Wilkes Barre, PA.


We lived in a building just for children and were away from the active TB patients in other buildings.  There was a tunnel connected and we went there for dental care, etc.  We went to a school house about 1/2 of a mile away with combined grades and were taught by Mary Mackareth.  She read the classics to us, we also took long walks in the forest and learned to identify many birds.


Because I was one of the older children, I was in charge of the younger children.  I helped them shower, get dressed and took them down to the dining room.  Miss Troy was our house mother.  I witnessed two children who had died there and was able to alert the house mother.  My mother was only able to come visit me two times during WW2.


Fast forward to 1949 to Phoenix, AZ.  I went through training to become an RN.  Married to Roy in 1953 for 57 years, 3 children and 2 grand children.  Recently widowed January 2011.


I am really thankful that the state of Pennsylvania was able to help me get better, even though I was very home sick and missed my family.


A few years ago I had an ultrasound for other medical reasons and it showed that I had TB scarring in the lower lobes.  That was a surprise to me as it showed the TB had traveled throughout my lungs.


See the following pages (below) for photos at the Cresson TB Sanitarium.


Loraine Michael
Feb 6, 2013

1.  Loraine and other children at the san dressed up for a Halloween party in 1944.  Loraine is in the back row, fourth from the left, dressed as Miss America.  The same Halloween photo was submitted by Harvey Docchio who was also at Children's House as a young boy.  You can see his photo at the following link: 


2.  L to R:  Julia Billingsley, Loraine Shard, Agnes Medved and Mary Cessna

3.  Front Row   L to R:  Loraine, Miss Troy (House Mother), Mary Cessna and Shirley Campbell.
     Back Row   L to R:  Agnes Medved and Julia Billingsley
    Phots 3 & 4 were taken in front of Children's House.

4.  In the two photos above, the children are standing in front of Children's House holding their 8th grade diplomas.

5.  L to R:  Loraine Shard, Mrs. Hice (1st Grade Teacher) and Genevieve Starkweather.  The photo was taken in March 1945 on the Children's Playground, with the Men's East Wing Ward building in the background.

                          6.  House Mothers: left unknown and Ms Troy on the right.

The following poem entitled "My Loraine" was written for Loraine by her mother
 on Jan 7, 1945, the 1 year anniversary of her stay at Cresson San.

t's been a year since you've been gone,
Of course, that's been a year too long,
You know some things just have to be,
And that's the way it seems to me.

You've gone away to gain new health,
which is more to be treasured than lots of wealth,
You can work and play and study and grow,
And when you get back you'll have places to go.

Folks ask about you 'most every day,
I tell them you're fine - that's all I can say,
But I know that you're putting on lots of weight,
and good report cards are coming of late.

It doesn't seem long since you took your first steps,
And plenty of times you were all sopping wet,
And now you have grown to be a young lady,
So lovely and sweet and good looking, maybe.

So keep it up honey, keep wearing that smile,
Be happy , courageous, for that's quite the style,
You never know when good news comes your way,
And you can go home - won't that be the day.

So now, I am going to lie down and sleep,
And in my dreams, I hope we shall meet,
I'll give you a kiss and a great big hug,
How can you kiss, my ugly mug.

I've tried to write you a nice little jingle,
That would make your heart pound and your blood all a tingle,
But I find as I keep on writing each line,
That's exactly what's happening to me all the time.