The Lives They Left Behind: Suitcases From A State Hospital Attic! – BY Cindyknoke
Willard State Hospital
by, Darby Penny, Peter Stastny, Lisa Rinzler, Robert Whitaker.
When Willard State Hospital closed in 1995, after 125 years of continuous operation, 427 patient suitcases, filled with patient’s personal belonging, were discovered, abandoned, in an attic.
This interesting book attempts to bring to light the personal stories of ten of these patients whose suitcases were intensely studied. The authors chose these specific suitcases because there were a lot of personal notes and materials in each of these ten suitcases, that provided the authors with enough data, combined with patient records and charts, to try to reconstruct these ten people’s lives.
This is a fascinating book about these people’s lives and about the hospital itself. The authors are incredibly patient detectives, who tease out a great deal of facts and details from these suitcases, chart notes, and interviews with hospital staff members, many retired. They locate living relatives…
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