Heritage: Father Goes to Mayo Clinic

by Annie Coleman (Kerr) Sexton, published in Stanton Stats February 17, 1995

Then, at the age of sixty-eight, [in 1918] a Brandon doctor found [Father] had cancer of the rectum. He didn’t give up, [but] went to Mayo doctors in Rochester. The operation was successful. Three inches of back bone was removed to make sure no cancer was left. He was a month in the hospital [and] had wonderful care by a German nurse. Then he had to go to a convalescent hotel for a month. He asked the Sisters who owned the hospital if he could take his German nurse. The said it had never been allowed before, but since he had been such a good patient the nurse could go. Those days at Rochester were a conversation piece for the rest of his life [and] Mother got weary of hearing them.

As the Canadian dollar was way below par then it made an inroad into his meagre life savings. At that time Mayo Bros. charge was according to what a patient could pay. What wonderful men! He needed quite a lot of care the next year but Mother was able to do it.

In fact, she gave him very devoted care for the rest of his sixteen years. ‘Ma’ as he called Mother was the central figure of his life. He now had to live quietly at home but didn’t lose interest in every day affairs. He read a great deal, smoked his pipe, enjoyed his meals and he enjoyed visitors and our home was truly “The House By The Side of The Road.”