Cresson TB Sanatorium Remembered

Donald Meeker

1. Donald Meeker

I received the following story and photos from Don Meeker in September 2013.  I have added the comments in red, which shows once again what a small world it is.  Chuck Felton

Hi Chuck
My name is Don Meeker.  I am 67 years old and live in Waverly, NY.   Back in 1960 I was 14 years old and living in the town of Hornbrook, Pa (just 4 miles North of Chuck Felton's home town of Towanda, Pa.)   My Aunt Rosie had just gotten back from Cresson where she got the Cresson C when they removed part of her left lung.  (It was called the Cresson C because of the shape of the incision, which started in front of the chest, went under the armpit and up the shoulder blade to the top of the shoulder.  Pulling back this section of skin allowed the surgeon to remove sections of the rib bones under the armpit to gain access to the lung.)

The doctors at the Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, Pa. (the same hospital where Chuck Felton was diagnosed with TB) said I had TB also and sent me to the Cresson San.  When I got to Cresson they showed me a jar full of lungs that had TB and I passed out.  Then they took me to the X-Y ward in the Men's West Wing. 

When I got up in the morning I needed a smoke so I went to the laboratory and there was a man standing there smoking.  I said "That's what I need", so he gave  me one of his cigarettes.  His name was Frank.  Then one night I went to go to the TV room and that's when a patient named Samuel Ball had a lung hemorrhage, fell on the floor in the hallway and died there.

I was there for only four months from 8-18-60 to 12-18-60 and was discharged when it was determined that I did not have TB .  They called me the problem child in the san Skyliner Newsletter.  My nurse was Mrs. Marshall and I remember Dr. Ma.  Before I left they gave me a job washing glasses. 

My grandmother Cora Heeman went to Cresson San in 1960 and was there until June 1961.  They sent her home to die as she had an advanced case of cancer.

Anyone who was there can call me at (607) 259-3102. 

2. Aunt Rosie
3. Cora Heeman