- Project Runeberg -  The story of San Michele /
379

(1929) [MARC] Author: Axel Munthe - Tema: Medicine
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by the train de luxe from Paris. Instead of the
best suite of rooms he had reserved, he and his
family had been crammed into two small
bed-rooms with no sitting-room and not even a
bath-room. The director’s wire that the hotel
was full had been sent too late and never reached
him. He had just telegraphed to Ritz to protest
against this sort of treatment. To make matters
worse his little boy was ill with a feverish cold,
his wife had been sitting up with him the whole
night in the train, would I be kind enough to
come and see him at once? Two little children
were lying asleep in one bed, face to face, almost
lips to lips. The mother looked anxiously at
me and said the boy had been unable to swallow
his milk, she feared he had a sore throat. The
little boy was breathing laboriously with wide
open mouth, his face was almost blue. I put
the little girl still asleep on the mother’s bed
and told her the boy had diphtheria and that I
must send for a nurse at once. She said she
wanted to nurse the boy herself. I spent the
night scraping off the diphtheric membranes from
the boy’s throat, he was almost choking.
Towards day-break I sent for Doctor Erhardt to
help me with the tracheotomy, the boy was on
the point of suffocation. The action of the
heart was already so bad that he dared not
give him chloroform, we both hesitated to operate,
we feared the boy might die under the knife.
I sent for the father, at the mention of the word
diphtheria he rushed out of the room, the rest
of the conversation took place through the half
opened door. He would not hear of an operation,

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