All posts tagged: Leprosy

Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India Photo: Amit Gupta/Flickr

Christian Heroes – Dr. Paul Brand

Paul Brand was a Christian doctor who dedicated his life and his skills to the people of India. He was the son of missionaries to India and, from the age of nine, was schooled and trained in England while his parents remained. After Brand graduated as an orthopaedic surgeon, he was recruited to serve at the Christian Medical College in Vellore. However, history remembers him most for his work at a nearby sanatorium for victims of Hanson’s Disease – leprosy. Little was known or understood about the crippling effects of leprosy on its victims. Brand realized that some of the same techniques used to rehabilitate the motor functions of victims of diseases such as polio held promise for treating leprosy. After a year of research and study, Brand began a series of surgeries on Krishnamurthy, a young man whose hands were completely atrophied and useless, his fingers curled into a claw position. Patiently, over time, Brand split moved healthy muscles and tendons to serve in place of paralyzed muscle. The claw gradually was restored to …

A husband’s love

[by Earl Blacklock] Leprosy is a chronic bacterial infection which causes disfiguring skin lesions, blindness, and absorption of bones and cartilage. Formally known as Hansen’s disease, leprosy is only mildly communicable. Nevertheless, over a period spanning thousands of years, it has been a disease that has meant fear, rejection, and personal terror. Since its first diagnosis in the United States, thousands of people contracted the disease. Those diagnosed with the disease suffered shame and sorrow. Starting in 1921, public health authorities in the United States sent patients diagnosed with leprosy to the Public Health Service Center in Carville, Louisiana for isolation and treatment. Mail to the outside could only be sent by a staff member, after sterilization.