Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Night-time in Craig-y-nos

The memory of being woken in the early hours of the morning by night sister’s torch flashing in my face, when I was still coughing up blood, came back to me with a jolt as I read through children's accounts of those days.

Many have spoken about waking up in the morning to find the bed next to them empty.

John, then aged 9, recalls:
“Sometimes the person you had been talking to one day was not there the next day just an empty unmade bed! This happened too many times. It was a scary lesson to learn for someone of a tender age.”

Or June, age 4, who woke morning and put her hand out to touch the girl in the next bed on the veranda to find she was not there and Sister Morgan telling her that she had “gone home in the night because she was missing her mother.

Going to sleep was associated with dying in many young minds.
Rosie, age 6 at the time, says:

"I was aware of people dying there. That's why even to this day I don't sleep very well because I was afraid to go to sleep because the nurses used to say oh she died in her sleep. I used to think well I don't want to die and I was afraid to sleep.I was terrified of going to sleep because that is when people died”.

Myfwany, a teenager, added :

“My father's brother died in Craig-y-nos as the clock struck midnight.

Well, when it was my turn to go in this thought was in my mind and every night it was me fighting to stay awake until that clock had struck midnight. And then I could sleep.”

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