Cresson TB Sanatorium Remembered

61 Philip Owen (Page 1 of 5)

Philip Owen
(From Chuck Felton) 
Philip Owen was diagnosed with TB when he was 15 years old in 1943.  He spent time in three different facilities including Rossmere, Hamburg and Mont Alto TB sanatoriums.  And although he was never in Cresson San, he is  included here because of his interesting story and a tie-in with my Cresson San website. 
David Wenner of the Harrisburg Patriot News published an on-line story on November 30, 2015 about Philip in which he mentioned me and included a link to this website as a source of additional information about TB sanatoriums.  You can read David's article, entitled 'White death': Memories from Pa.'s nearly forgotten TB sanatoriums",  by clicking on the following link:   
Philip's story and photos taken at Rossmere, Hamburg and Mont Alto Sanatoriums are presented on the next five pages.



Shortly after 11:00 September 11, 1928 I became the 11th child of my parents.  Shortly after 12:00 September 12, my fraternal brother Joe became the 12th child of my parents.  In 85% of fraternal twins, one is older than the other (28-29 days).

Being premature, my immune system was probably weakened.  In my sophomore year of high school, I reached up to hit a volleyball and started spitting up blood.  The school nurse said to immediately get in touch with our family doctor.    After due testing, I was diagnosed with tuberculosis and entered Rossmere Sanatorium in Lancaster, Pa and immediately entered the then process of treatment.

Sometime later I was transferred to Mont Alto Children's Preventorium at age 14 where I was away from home for 11 months.  After being home for some months, I was readmitted to Rossmere Sanatorium where I was started on pneumothorax in both lungs.  Having 75% collapses of both lungs, I somehow developed an infection and fluid causing my left lung to completely collapse.

I was then transferred to Hamburg State Tuberculosis Sanatorium to receive a thorocoplasty.  (The surgical operation of removing or resecting one or more ribs so as to obliterate the pleural cavity and collapse a diseased lung).

After being given Neopronicil, an early antibiotic,  the infection was stopped and my lungs became inflated again. 

Sometime in 1946 or 1947,  another young patient named Bobby and myself were given streptomycin (144 shots, at 6am and 6 pm).  So far as I am able to verify, we were the first two to get it in Pennsylvania (guinea pigs?).  It worked and the other patients at Hamburg were given it and Hamburg State Sanatorium was changed into another facility.

After coming home, 22 month away, I was able to get my GED, to work, get married and have 3 children (2 boys and a girl), 4 grandchildren and   6 great grandchildren. 

With the leading and provision of the Lord, I have pastored a church in Spotsylvania, Va. for 11 years.  Then moved to Greenville, SC and pastored a church for 17 years.  Having been interim pastor in 3 churches in Pa. I have moved to Cambridge, OH where I have a weekly Bible study at the apartment complex where I live as well as a weekly Bible study at the Gurnsey County Senior Center in Cambridge.

Many interesting and unique events have brought me to my 87th year and I presently have 20 perspective projects looking me in the face.  Looking to my Savior Jesus Christ, I hope to pursue more intriguing days and an eternity in God's very presence.

Philip Owen

October 17, 2015