Thursday, November 24, 2011

Clara's Rib, A Riveting Read

I finished a book a few weeks back entitled Clara's Rib.  It was a journaling composition by the late Clara Raina Flannigan, a tuberculosis survivor from Kemptville, Ontario.   Of course being a local book it immediately caught my attention, but it was the content that kept me particularly enthralled.

Clara comes from a family of ten, seven of whom contacted TB during the 1940's and 50's.  Two brothers and her father eventually succumbed to the dreaded disease.  Clara herself spent most of her teens and twenties in  the Royal Ontario Sanitorium in Ottawa, isolated from her loved ones.  Here she endured many grueling treatments, cutting edge technology in the treatment of the disease for that time period.  The most macabre of these was the systematic removal of ribs, to collapse the lungs, in hopes of allowing the diseased sections to heal.  One of the ribs was actually saved as an artifact and then buried with Clara upon her death in 1998, hence the name of the book.

What really makes this story personal,  is the connection to one of my family lines, where five out of ten children in one family all died from tubercular complications in their teens and twenties.  However my family dates back to the late 1800's, when there was little hope of survival, if you contracted TB or consumption as it was known at that time.  To read this particular story click on the following link:  An earlier blog about the Patterson family.

I found this particularly poignant that such an extensive family case study existed as recently as that of the Raina family. The story has been edited and added to Clara's younger sister, Anne. Watch her in the Youtube video below as she promotes the book and tells of the stigma of growing up in a family whose medical history isolated them from the rest of the world.

The Daily Quest

This is a new daily feature on The Musical Gardener blog. Below is a question, or puzzle that will change day by day. Do not use the comment section of the blog for your answer.

Answer to Yesterday's Puzzle: Dave Berry

Today's Puzzle:
Mix And Match

Match the right numbers up with the appropriate letters:

 a) Mulch Espouser                       1) Gregor Mendel
 b) Lawnmower Inventor               2) Ruth Stout
 c) Plant Geneticist                        3) Robert Rodale
 d) Organic Gardening                   4) Edward Budding

Please respond with your answer to the email below. I apologize but you will have to type my email address in manually (I'm attempting to avoid spammers).
Don't forget my contest - Musical Gardener Contest
And that is about all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.

1 comment:

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