Thursday, June 07, 2007
Sylvia Cottle (nee Price) 1952-53, age 20, with badger
Sylvia with pet badger, Bonzo, belonging Dr Ivor Williams daughter, Mary.
Extract from interview
“It was very cold in Craig-y-nos. My fiancé used to visit me and I shall always remember him sitting there with snowflakes on his shoulder blowing in through the window which of course we were not allowed to close.
I was there for my 21st birthday and my mother brought in a cold chicken for me. The girls in the ward bought me a Toby jug. I still have it.
“There was a little black boy on the balcony. I shall always remember him. There were half a dozen other boys out there too .”
“I had started on strep and bed rest at home but I found that when I got into Craig-y-nos bedrest was very strict.
We had rest hours and silence. You were not allowed to do anything.
I had been there less than a week when I leant out of bed to pick something up off the floor and I got a terrible ticking off from the nurse followed by another from Dr Huppert.
I cried and cried for ages...it really upset me.
That's when I learnt that bed rest meant lying absolutely still in the same position.
My bed was put on 18 inch blocks and I had to lie on my side.
It’s amazing what you can still find to do even though you are lying like that. I used to do embroidery .
I had a pneumothorax to collapse the lung but it didnt work so I was sent home to wait for a bed in Morriston.
How did Craig-y-nos compare to other hospitals?
“I was used to ordinary hospitals but Craig-y-nos was so strange! It was so strict unlike anything I had experienced before.
You had to lie perfectly still.
“You accepted things in those days.
You were conditioned to, people didn't protest like they do now.
You did what you were told. They were only doing what they thought was for the best for you.”
I remember Jane a young girl dying. I think the disease was too advanced for the drugs to cure her.
After one year at home I was allowed to marry only I was told: “no children for three years”.
Sylvia went on to have four children and now at 75 years of age she lives in Mumbles, Swansea. She has kept very well all her life.