The Miracles of Modern Medicine

Preston David 2 2David Preston 
Should you ever find yourself questioning the value of modern medicine, go to an old country cemetery and peruse the headstones. You’ll soon run across the graves of children who died from things that we rarely hear of today. At least not in the U.S. “Dread disease” is no longer a household word, though a hundred years ago, it hung about parents’ necks like a noose waiting to be cinched. Diphtheria, scarlet fever, pertussis . . . These were common but deadly illnesses that you literally lived in dread of your child getting.

David Preston's photo..
A typical cause of death for women back in the day was “complications of childbirth,” which, like the dread diseases, is rarely seen on death certificates today. Two gravestones tell the story: Kittie Nelson, age 26, beloved wife of Emil died on February 1, 1903. Next to that lies another, much smaller one, bearing the same date.*
“Infant son of Emil J. and Kittie A. Nelson. Aged 1 day”
At rest.

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