When I was almost 6 months old I developed a cough that gradually became much worse and responded to no treatment.
My parents took me to doctors in Moose Jaw and Regina and the only recommendation was “steam” – a steaming kettle under a sheet over my head.
This accomplished nothing so I was taken to the Children’s Hospital in Winnipeg – where the same advice was give!
The problem got worse!
Mother took me to the Mayo Clinic – and got the same advice; with the addition that a little camphor might help!
My family wintered in California in those days – they owned a house on the beach at Santa Barbara.
One morning my mother was taking me in my buggy for a walk in the sun along the waterfront. For some reason as she passed a small cottage a new sign on the door caught her eye. She had passed this house every morning – but this was the first time she took notice.
The sign gave a doctor’s name – he had just opened an office in the little house.
My mother felt compelled to take me in – she had tried all of the best doctors in Canada and the US – another wouldn’t hurt!
The doctor was a young immigrant from Germany.
As Mom entered his office, and even before she sat down – he said “That child has something caught in its lung! It must come out immediately, or he will die very shortly!”
The following day the doctor removed a bit of corn husk from my lung – and I fully recovered.
What are the chances?
In spite of my illness the family still went to Santa Monica. Of all the world for this young man to relocate it was Santa Monica. Mother just happened to glance up and see his new small sign.
The young Doctor was one of only two doctors in the world who had developed a technique to take invasive action into the lungs.
To this day I carry the slight scar of the piece of corn husk that my Gran Moffat gave me to suck on while the family ate Sunday dinner!
This was the first of almost 100 “chance” occurrences that had saved and shaped my life!