My mom Louella Moyer from Northumberland, Pa was in Cresson TB sanitarium from December
1955 to March 1956. My parents told my brother and me that she never did have TB. Mom and dad never spoke much
about mom's months at Cresson. She was sent to Cresson TB San because doctors found a "spot"
on an x-ray that they believed to be TB. Mom had always had lung problems caused from too many untreated
episodes of pneumonia as a kid and she also had asthma. She was 30 years old when she went to Cresson.
She and dad had been married a little over 8 years. My brother and I would be born years
after her return from Cresson.
I can remember her telling us that the treatments she received at Cresson took away her sense of taste and
smell, which she never regained. That had to be a less-than-satisfying way to experience the world but
mom never complained. She also said that the treatments deadened the nerve endings in her fingers so that
she could not feel things with her fingertips. I recall it being very challenging for her to pick up toothpicks,
sewing needles, and coins from the floor or a tabletop. My aunt told me about the time she and my uncle
(dad's brother and sister-in-law) went with dad to visit mom at Cresson. She had broken out in red, blotchy hives from
some treatment and they had her covered head to toe in some kind of salve. They almost didn't recognize
have said that dad should have sued the Sanatorium for what they did to mom. She never had TB (as evidenced
by the medical discharge letter) and so the "treatments" she received caused damage to her that would last her lifetime.
But neither dad nor mom were litigious people, so no lawsuit was ever filed.
Somehow, despite all of her complications from TB treatments, in addition to her COPD, asthma and allergies,
she managed to get through two pregnancies and successful childbirths (my brother was born in 1958 and I was born in 1963).
She lived her life with gusto, was the best cook and baker around and shared her life with us until she died in 1998 at age
71 (a few months shy of her 72nd birthday).
I have one
picture of her taken shortly after she returned home and her discharge letter, both shown below. I would love to hear from people
who may have been at Cresson the same time and especially to learn about the treatments that were given.
|Louella Moyer and her Discharge Letter.