Thursday, May 10, 2007

Abandoned children at Craig-y-nos

Sometimes children were abandoned .
Their parents simply stopped visiting.
The isolation of the hospital and the sheer difficulty of getting there by public transport, before cars became common, proved to be an insurmountable obstacle to families already under a great deal of stress.

Also the death rate before the introduction of drugs was high - 25 per cent- so it is hardly surprising that some parents experienced a sense of hopelessness and despair at having a child sent ot Craig-y-nos.
One former member of staff told me it was often viewed as a death sentence, such was the taboo and fear with which TB was held in Wales, a notorious black spot for the disease.

How many children were left to grow up at Craig-y-nos? nobody knows.
All we do know is that it did happen from time to time.

On the whole it would appear that these cases were an exception. What emerges is a picture of incredible dedication on the part of parents, some who were very poor, to struggle to make the long journey to Craig-y-nos once a month to see their children often relying on relatives or friends with a car for transport.
Those who made the journey by public transport found that it would take up the whole day, often involving several bus changes especially for those coming from remote villages or rural communities.

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