Saturday, February 10, 2007

Gwanwyn Evans - 1931-32

Gwanwyn Evans of Ffinnant Isaf, Aberyscir, Brecon, was in Craig-y-nos in 1932 as a 10 year old with TB in the jaw. Now 85 years of age she sent in the following written account. ( This is an extract).

"There was no public transport so the local vicar conveyed me to Craig-y-nos from my home in Builth Wells. I was put in Ward 2 with girls my own age and some older women.

The treatment consisted in my having a sun-ray lamp applied to the scar. The first application frightened me - I was only 10- because a black, strange smelling sheet of something like cardboard was placed on my face. I learned that it contained an aperture for my scar but the rest had to protect my face against the sun-ray. Each morning I proceeded to have the scab "torn away", the bleeding stopped with the application of methylated spirits - did that smart?- and then the heat applied. I was in hospital for 16 weeks and so this continued for that period of time.

All the children, boys and girls, went each morning to the Sun-ray room wearing only little calico pants and goggles and we sat around, had games or sang songs around the big Sun-ray lamp.

Lord David Davies, Llandinan, was a benefactor then of several sanatoria and he came to the hospital as Father Christmas.
The present from Father Christmas was a doll which I kept for 10 years.

One death occured while I was at Craig-y-nos. A woman was isolated in a Ward which we passed on our way to the bathroom. We were told to be quiet when in that region and we were aware of when she passed away...

My parents didn't visit me, believing it would only unsettle me but the Vicar and his wife did come one day. I spent little time with them I remember but at least they were able to tell my parents they had seen me.

Came the time, in February, for me to go home and, on this occasion the Vicar fetched my mother down. I cried when I saw her- after all, I hadn't seen her for four months- and sobbed all the way home from Craig-y-nos to Builth Wells.

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