Viewed through a child's eyes, Lawrence Green insightfully recounts his
traumatic hospital confinement, isolation and loneliness. He contracted
rheumatic fever at the age of five and spent most of his childhood in hospitals,
including three years in a sanatorium. In the 1950's, the prescribed treatment
for this often fatal disease was complete bed rest. There was no excitement,
no education, and no counseling. Visitors were limited to once a month for
two hours. When he was discharged at the age of nine, he could neither read
nor write and had not developed social skills. In an engaging way, Lawrence
traces his growth as he learned to walk again, read, break through his shyness,
and begins his cultural and academic education. He shares his feelings about
participating in special education classes, family relationships, confronting
bullies, his love of baseball, his Brooklyn neighborhood, and his emerging
Written with warmth and humor, Lawrence takes us on a journey through his
pain, struggle, courage, and yearning while confined to bed and his remarkable
strength and drive to overcome his handicaps.
"The author deftly captures how the outside world drifted in through radio, comics and early television, adding cultural texture and reminding the reader of what hospitalized children missed during that era....Green deftly describes St. Vincent's and his lifetime of struggle, incorporating the confusion, ridicule and surprise he experienced as a boy into his scenes. He illuminates a period of American history when ill children were sent away without fanfare or explanation... A memoir that renders an invisible population visible..."
Lawrence Green retired after 42 years of practice as a psychiatric social worker. He graduated with an M.S.W. from the University of Michigan. Lawrence describes his ideal town as having a Chinese restaurant, a movie theater, an independent bookstore and a coffee shop. This describes his hometown of Maplewood, New Jersey where he resides with his wife. His two children are married and he has a lovely granddaughter. Despite his numerous maladies, Lawrence considers himself a fortunate man.