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A Letter from Dr. J.C. Black

'Uncle Doc' practiced medicine in Regina for almost 60 years. His wife, Joanna McGregor (Aunt Anna) was a member of the first class of graduate nurses at the Regina General Hospital.

From a 1955 letter that J.C. Black wrote to his daughter Dorothy.

Old Dr. Ferguson attended my father. He told my mother that my father had died of heart disease. About 40 years later I asked mother to tell me about it. She said that father went out late one fall and got cold and wet and came in to the house and had chills and fever. He developed a pain in the side and a heavy cough and died about ten days later. A layman could have made a better diagnosis than that offered by Ferguson. I do not have much respect for some of these small town MD’s. When I went home about three years ago, Will was sick in bed so I asked Ethel what was wrong with her dad. She said that the muscles of his bladder were just like a baby’s and he could not retain his urine. I asked her who told her that nonsense and she told me “the doctor”. I asked her if he had ever been catheterized and she said no. I performed the cathertization and drew off about a quart of urine and left the catheter in. He only lived for about another four months but still reached his 83rd birthday.

I think that Mary would have died years ago had old Dr. Homes been at home one night when they had sent for him to attend her and he had not bee there. Old Dr. Ferguson was the father of Howard - afterwards the Premier of Ontario. If he were practicing today, I think that he would have long been prosecuted for criminal negligence - Homes would have gotten far worse. Liz died at the age of 36 from what the doctors said was typhoid fever. Mary had had her transferred to the Ottawa hospital after she had become unconscious and was covered with red spots and had a very stiff neck. It might have been meningitis.

Yet, they were a hardy outfit or they would not have survived. My grandfather Black (the Henry Black who came from Ireland) died at age 94, grandmother Black at age 85 and grandmother Johnston at age 84. My father (William John Black) was not quite 58. This gives you a short resume of the family and your relatives on my side of the house.

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