Children’s Hospital Reunion

Artifacts, photographs and memories were shared during a reunion for about 600 patients and staff members of the former Newington Hospital for Crippled Children, in Hartford, Connecticut. Once the region’s premier medical institution for treating children with chronic and crippling ailments, the hospital became Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in 1996. Children were treated for a wide range of illnesses and ailments, including some, such as tuberculosis and polio, that have been all but eradicated.

Publication of The Home for Incurables by Barbara Donahue, a 98-year history of the Newington hospital, triggered an outpouring of memories from thousands who worked or were treated there.

One person said living at the hospital was difficult for young children separated from their families. Siblings weren’t allowed to visit and parents could come only on weekends, which sometimes left kids lonely and afraid. The only pleasure was looking forward to weekend visits. Over the years, the hospital reflected advances in medical technology and care and changing attitudes toward treatment of the disabled and children.

From a story by John M. Moran in the Hartford Courant, Hartford, Connecticut.