Memories of St Margaret's Hospital

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Memories of St Margaret's Hospital Memories of St Margaret's Hospital

Does anyone remember the White Death, Tuberculosis, in the 50 and 60s? At the age of 23, in 1957, I was diagnosed with this disease at Queen Mary’s Hospital in Stratford, and sent to St Margaret’s Hospital in Epping for six months.

Here there were specialist TB wards, ladies and gents adjoining. The ward sister was very strict. You were told you would be discharged if caught smoking, or feeding the birds. At that time it was considered birds carried the disease.

We had an injection every morning of the wonder drug streptomycin which saved so many lives. We had a film show every week. The food was good. Night excursion to ladies wwards were not unknown. There were tennis courts outside our ward window where the nurses used to play.

On discharge we convalesced in Ventor, Isle of Wight, for two weeks – free. This was the first real holiday I ever had.

I have never had any subsequent problems. They did a first class job.

F Pattern, Linnet Close, Chingford


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