My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

NEW YORK, Thursday—Many of our men were taken straight from the hospitals into people's homes in New Zealand. I have one letter which describes what happened to two boys who had a recurrence of malaria, when they were visiting Mr. J. Sutton of Hawera. I am giving you the whole letter since I think it shows, as nothing else can, with what real interest our boys are cared for. These boys had to stay over their original furlough because of their illness, which explains the first paragraph of the letter.

"I received your kind letter last Saturday and was so delighted to know that the unpreventable delay in the arrival of our two guests was quite understood by you and also the hospital at Silverstream. Please do not feel it was any hardship to us whatever. Not only did we thoroughly love looking after both the lads, but it was just grand to feel that we could give them a little home life and little delicacies when they felt so wretched. I did feel those few extra days after discharge from the hospital here did help young Nelson back to strength. He left looking better and happier and we will never forget his smile as the train pulled out.

"Mrs. Sutton has written and we do want you to feel that we do not worry about malaria in the house. It is not that. You see, my wife has had plenty of experience with the malady, because the family have, or I should say had, a plantation in the Solomons and one member of the family made visits frequently to Bougainville Island. As a result, he was subject to such attacks, and directly we saw Lloyd Nelson go off colour and the shivering starting, we just put him to bed with many hot water bottles, blankets and hot drinks. The temperature subsequently proved our diagnosis correct, so we called the doctor who brought a nurse to cope with the sponging, and so forth. Dr. Fogg, who has since visited Silverstream, was very good and was in contact with your hospital, and I also phoned the hospital.

"May I thank you for sending us two such splendid fellows. I enclose one snap which speaks for itself. They were two lads who fitted into our home like our own family and were so thoughtful, considerate and respectful that it was a pleasure to make them happy. My wife has written asking you to send more lads from time to time."