Monday, October 22, 2012
Weldon Getting Sick by: Ileen Wardle
This story is probably the scariest experience that happened on the farm. When Weldon was eight he got very sick and almost died. This story is written by Mother.
All the children who were in school had been vaccinated for small pox and they all had good scab on them. We thought they were all healed and Weldon went swimming with some friends and he got his scab knocked off. It seemed to be all right. After church I came home and bathed and put the children to bed. Everyone was fine. My husband and I got up early the next morning as we had to take a tractor into Othello to be worked on. I left him with the tractor at the garage and came on home. It was around nine o’clock in the morning. I went into the boys’ room to get them out of bed. I looked at Weldon, and was horrified. Every muscle in his body was twitching and his eyes were rolled back in his head. I went screaming out the door to our hired man who was Spanish and couldn’t hardly speak English. He came into the house with me and we got a wet sheet and wrapped Weldon in it and took him into the hospital in Othello, Washington. It was a small hospital with only 16 beds. The doctor was afraid that Weldon might have some permanent brain damage.
In the mean time our hired man went and got my husband and our Bishop came and gave Weldon a special blessing. Jim and I then loaded him into our car after the doctor had shown us what to do to keep him from swallowing his tongue. The police escorted us 120 miles to Spokane. When we arrived at the hospital, Weldon started to rally. They took him into the emergency room and tapped his spine. They told us he had an acute virus and it was in his blood stream. I stayed with him for five days in the hospital and he improved every day. The doctor told us that if he had been under eight, he would have died. He is now a strong, healthy man, and has never had a sick day since. He is now a teacher and a coach, and also a father of three children [eventually four].
[Billy’s note: I was the first to see Weldon acting strangely as we shared a bunk bed with me on top. I remember looking at him very early in the morning and he was twitching and spitting up saliva. I asked him if he was playing a game and he didn’t respond. I went back to sleep, but my memory tells me I had gotten up when my mother came home, and I told her Weldon was acting strangely, although I didn’t perceive it as life threatening. It was her reaction that told me there was a problem.
I went through life thinking Weldon had a concussion. My dad had taken us to A&W for root beer on a Sunday. Somehow Weldon had bonked his head against the wall while we were horse playing. My memory must have been wrong and mixed two things together. I was five at the time.]