Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

with having seen the Euxine from Therapia without actually passing into its waters.

One day a ship came alongside Koulali wharf to coal; she had on board a Dr. Thompson and his wife.

Dr. Thompson was a civilian, who had practised for some years in Antioch, before that I think in India, and was well known for scientific discoveries.

It appeared that he had wished to visit Balaclava, and had proceeded thither, accompanied by his wife; while there— living on board ship—was seized with the Crimean fever. When the ship was obliged to return he was too ill to be moved, and indeed at Balaclava there was no place for him. The vessel came to Scutari, and application was made to the authorities for his admission into the hospital.

An unfortunate delay arose about granting this, which no doubt would have been done at length. The vessel could not wait; having

120

THE DOCTOR UNDER TREATMENT.

discharged her cargo for Scutari she came to Koulali, Dr. Thompson still on board. The same application was made at Koulali, and was instantly granted; Koulali being a much smaller place than Scutari it had probably not to go through so many hands before it was decided on. At all events they were received.

The heat was so intense that though it was granted at noon they were forced to wait till the cool evening before they dared move him--for he was raving in delirium, and his fever was in the highest stage. Meanwhile, an empty ward in the General Hospital was prepared for his use, and everything which the hospital possessed in the way of comfort placed at his disposal by Dr. Humphrey, P.M.O. Our Superintendent appointed one of her best nurses to aid Mrs. Thompson in attending on him, and committed him also to the care of the reverend Mother.

CAREFUL NURSING.

121

From that day for weeks the one topic of the hospital was Dr. Thompson. If he had been a king more could not have been done for him; his delirium was very violent, and he would take dislikes to the surgeons and want new ones. Accordingly, almost every one in the hospital went to him at any time he chose to ask for them. He appeared to be fond of music, and it was thought singing would soothe him. One of the ladies accordingly went and sang to him for hours.

The Sisters of Mercy were most unremitting in their attentions, especially the reverend Mother, who was called up night after night, and who cheerfully hastened to see if she could in any way relieve him. Fatigue and distress had their effect upon poor Mrs. Thompson, her grief was violent, and she required much attention. The reverend Mother spent much time in soothing her, sometimes reading a few verses of the

[blocks in formation]

Holy Scriptures or a hymn. Mrs. Thompson spoke of her kindness afterwards with much gratitude.

Dr. Thompson and his wife were members of the Church of England. The chaplain visited them constantly, and he also used to be called up in the night when the delirium was at its height that he might endeavour to quiet the sufferer.

There was at one time a slight hope of his recovery, but an abscess, which was a frequent result of the Crimean fever, gathered in his neck, and death fast approached. The nurse who had been waiting on him, being worn out, returned to rest. Another whom we thought well of took her place, and a few hours after worse symptoms appeared.

Word of this being brought to the lady superintendent, she went at 11 p.m. to the General Hospital to see him. Upon entering the room the scene was awful. He was in his

THE CLOSING SCENE.

123

last agony, his wife was by his side doing all she believed best for him. On a bed that had been standing in the room lay the nurse in a state of dead intoxication. She had, while passing from the Home to the hospital (the emergency having obliged her to be sent alone), purchased the Turkish spirits, which produce a perfect stupor. She could not be awakened, and the superintendent was obliged to call four orderlies to carry her upstairs, where she lay for hours in the same state.

All through the night the superintendent watched beside the sick bed. The chaplain came and read the commendatory prayers, and finding reason was not likely to return then left him. At Mrs. Thompson's desire the Presbyterian chaplain afterwards came and prayed beside him, and about 3 p.m. he expired.

His body was interred the following day in Koulali British burying-ground; all the medical staff followed in uniform.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »