Subject: The San
Today, I read your story in the Harrisburg Patriot Newpaper.
It brought back a flood of memories for me. In 1963 my husband and I were pastoring a church in Michigan, when a
medical check-up revealed that my 31 year old husband, Ralph Palmer, had TB. The state of Michigan notified us
that we had three days to either make arrangements to get back to our home state of Pa. and Ralph be hospitalized, or
he would be sent to a 'san' in the state we were in. After much prayer and investigation we learned that Cresson
would be willing to admit Ralph. We quickly loaded our three small children in our car and drove over night to
Cresson. We arrived at the hospital on a snowy morning in March. Our 3 children and I had already been
tested by the state of Michigan and found to be free of TB. Fortunately Cresson was only 20 mile from my family
home and the children and I were able to live with my parents for the 9 months Ralph was being treated. Our
Michigan congregation was met by the Mich. Health Department on the first Sunday after our departure and everyone was
skin tested for tuberculosis.
The care was excellent. Ralph had a private room, and I was
able to visit him on a daily basis. Our children did not see their dad for 6 months after his admission.
After six months of treatment with medication, Ralph had surgery to remove a cavity from the upper right lobe
of his lung. After three months of recovery he was discharged. After a time of recovery at home, we returned to
a pastoral position in Ohio. In 1974 Ralph died
with a heart attack and complications from diabetes.
When the Cresson facility transitioned to a mental health
facility, my uncle spent several years as a patient. My family has many memories, some good and some
sad, of the Cresson facility. I have always been fascinated with the beauty of the location and thankful that my family
lived close enough to be able to visit our loved ones who spent time at the facility.
Thanks for your story and giving many of us an opportunity
to share our story.