Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Bridie Murphy- 1927

Bridie Murphy was 7 years of age when she was admitted to Craig-y-nos in 1927.
Now 87 years of age Bridie worked as a nurse all her life in Swansea, had six children and moved to Edinburgh a few years ago to be near her daughter.

She climbed Mount Sinai in the Egyptian desert when she was 75 years of age, flew in Concorde to New York at 83 years of age and is now learning to use a computer in order to trace her family history.

Bridie has sent in this account:

“Dr Clark was the lady Medical Superintendent on my admission to Craig-y-nos in 1927.

She stands out in my dodgy memory because I believe that, above all else, it was she who was responsible for my cure. She had silky silver hair and a friendly sympathetic manner.

Following a lengthy assessment by Dr Clark and two other doctors on the first day, I was carried by a porter to the x-ray department. Next day I was taken to have a plaster cast made, which was moulded to the shape of my body, from neck to feet. It was designed to immobilise my lumbar region and legs while allowing limited movement for my arms. l It was well padded and fairly comfortable, and I was raised- complete with plaster cast- one foot above the mattress on wooden blocks to provide access for the excellent nursing procedures the beds also had large castors to give easier movement when needed.

The nursing staff were especially trained to care for children and young people,and I remember them all as dedicated, cheerful and always very kind to us.

Our balcony was home to ten young females, all like myself in plaster beds. In the next bed on my left was teenager Agnes Jenkins from Abercrave. She, poor girl, had Kyphosis ( curvature of the spine). I really pitied her, but Agnes was a strong character and she coped well. We became great friends.

We all suffered from back pain, but my own was very slight compared to others and it wasn’t long before I became pain free. Sometimes at night, when I heard my little friends groaning and often screaming, I got upset and cried for them."

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