Contributed by Gigimo
Description: Driven From the Hospital. Andrew LARSEN Now Dying at Home and His Children Naked and Hungry.Date: August 2 1891
Newspaper published in: Chicago, IL
Andrew LARSEN is dying upon a miserable bed in the basement of 324 West Ohio street. He cannot live a month. He has three children, the eldest less than eleven years old. The wife is a strong Danish woman, who does not know what to do. She has to wash clothing for other people in order to pay the rent for the miserable place in which they live. She knows that it is her duty to stay at the bedside of her dying husband and if she did not know it the neighbors have told her as much. But the poor woman is in a dilemma. She must attend to the wants of the man who is so near death and yet there are three little children at her skirts clamoring for bread. Andrew LARSEN is stricken with hopeless disease. He was a hod carrier and so long as he could work he brought money into the house. Three weeks ago he had to go to the county hospital. There was not a bed for him in the place, and he had to lie upon a mattress upon the floor. He entered the hospital at noon. It was twenty-four hours before he anything to eat. He cried for milk, but he got none. When morning came the mattress was drawn from under him and he had to sit all day in a chair. He was even requested to assist in the chamber work of his ward. Unable to perform this duty and almost dead from disease, the poor fellow left the place two weeks ago and started for his miserable home. It took him three hours to stagger to his wife and children. LARSEN, who was a member of no benevolent organization, is now dying in a small room in which flies are humming and buzzing against the window panes. His children are running naked in the room. He does not fear death, but every time he sees his little boys and girls he cries as he did last night. His wife must work in order to give the children gruel and then, too, the doctor must be paid for his visits. There was nothing to eat in the house last night. A little boy in a red shirt held his father's hand and tried to sing to him. It was a Swedish song, to which the flies upon the window pane hummed a mournful accompaniment. The officials at the county hospital did not take care of this man. They demanded of him a line of work which a man in the best of health would have found unpleasant and difficult to perform. So feeble that he could scarcely stand, but proud even in his lingering death, the poor fellow left the place and tottered to his wretched home.