A miracle: in 1942 my Granny survived tuberculosis

by Viviana on March 24, 2010

in Personal

March 24 is the international day of fighting against tuberculosis

Every 10 seconds a person dies of tuberculosis.

Tens of thousands of people in Romania are still suffering from this consuming disease that has killed millions.

On March 24, 1882 doctor Robert Koch discovered the bacillus that now bears his name. It was the first step in diagnosing and curing tuberculosis.

Around 10 million people are get this disease every year. Half of them are contagious. 1.5 million die of tuberculosis. Every 4 seconds somebody gets the disease, and every 10 seconds someone dies of it. Tuberculosis is the disease of the poor. Children, senior persons, people who suffer from other illnesses, pregnant women and many others, especially people who cannot afford medical services  are the targets of TBC.

I have heard the following sentence so many times: the artist dies of tuberculosis (usually “in misery”), at a young age – that I automatically connect tuberculosis to the sudden and regrettable death of young people.

My grandmother had tuberculosis when she was 22. She was born in 1920, she had 1 sister and 2 brothers. One brother died when he was 3 months old. Her sister died when she was 15. Her brother died when he was 60.

My grandmother was a young, smart and beautiful woman when she got tuberculosis. This happened in 1942. She got hospitalized. She has memories of young people, friends of hers, dying in that hospital. All of them fading, losing weight, beautiful in their despair, falling in love with each other, with big, shiny eyes and a lust for life that only TBC patients have. She told me how they would talk about the outside world and future plans in the evening, and then, the next morning  they would realize that half of last night’s interlocutors were dead. Young, talented, beautiful people, yet subject to a cruel bacteria that has no mercy on youth, talent or beauty.

Her story is one of the miracles in my life. In her life in fact, but God saved her so I can enjoy knowing and loving my Granny for many years (she is turning 90 in May). This is my part of her miracle of surviving tuberculosis.

One night, after months of taking 20 pills a day, being given 10 shots and having a doctor drain her lungs of liquid, keeping a weird diet that made no sense, seeing all her friends die one after another, she refused her medication and went to bed praying to God to cease her pain and suffering. Late that night, she woke up all sweat and weak, with the funny feeling that her lungs were leaking out of her body. All that infection (the liquid in her lungs) came out that night, through the drainage that the doctors made while extracting the infection out of her lungs. In a few days she was as good as new. She is probably one of the few that were so lucky to survive this horrid disease in 1942.

I thank God for keeping my Granny healthy. I love her very much. Pics of my lovely Granny who is turning 90 this year.

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