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Bright's Disease or Nephritis
Carol Colburn


Carol Colburn of Fairhope was born in 1939 in Odenville, the daughter of a coal miner who later came to work in Birmingham at ACIPCO.

She was hospitalized in the early '40s at the original Children's Hospital facility in Lakeview on Birmingham's Southside. She doesn't remember her final diagnosis, but remembers her mother telling her the doctors thought she had Bright's Disease or Nephritis.

As a child she had to have blood tranfusions and her mother had to donate the blood.

"In those days you were sometimes given the blood straight from the donor," she remembered. "The nurse strapped my arm on a wooden board so that I could not move it."

Today thanks to the care she received at Children's, Mrs. Colburn, now 70, recently celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary and has two grown children and nine grandkids. She is also a breast cancer survivor, is retired and spends her time working with her son, a sculpter in Fairhope.

She said she still remembers the view from her room on a particularly memorable visit to Children's, a private room that had many windows, but on another visit she was placed in the children's ward and her mother had to leave her alone. She said she remembers the room did not have air conditioning and was hot. She especially remembers the nurses being busy attending to the other children.

"It was hard to watch the nurses tending to the other children and I was afraid to bother them for water so I took the flowers Mother had brought me out of the vase next to my crib and drank the water in it. I don't think I will ever forget the taste."
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