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The Lives They Left Behind: Suitcases From A State Hospital Attic! – BY Cindyknoke

Cindy Knoke


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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.

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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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6 thoughts on “

    renxkyoko said:
    December 29, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    The book is interesting, but I think it will be a depressing and very sad read. I hope I’ll be able to read it soon.Thanks for sharing this.

      Sydney Fong responded:
      December 29, 2012 at 5:44 pm

      Yes, it is! You are welcome my friend, enjoy your weekend! said:
    December 29, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    This tugs on my heart strings.

      Sydney Fong responded:
      December 29, 2012 at 5:47 pm

      You too! My dearest Linda!

    Bernice said:
    December 31, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Sounds like an interesting book. I think we have gone to the other extreme where it is hard for people to obtain mental health care.

      Sydney Fong responded:
      December 31, 2012 at 11:22 am

      It is! We need to be mindful at all time, focus on humanity and doing good as well!
      Thanks, Bernice!
      Wishing you prosperous and wealthy in your cooking Blog! Cheers!

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