OCTOBER 2, 1942
CORONADO, Calif., Thursday—We spent a quiet afternoon Tuesday, during which time I renewed my acquaintance with Anne and John's boy, Haven. Memories are short at his age, but since the household's small dachshund greeted me with great friendliness and seemed to remember me, Haven decided I could not be a complete stranger.
After a short while, he felt he could sit on my knee and ride a cockhorse. When his father came home, Haven was annoyed by the grownups, who talked together instead of paying attention to him. We dined with my daughter-in-law, Mrs. James Roosevelt and spent a pleasant evening.
At 10:00 o'clock yesterday morning, the Admiral's wife, Mrs. Holmes, came for me and my daughter-in-law, Mrs. James Roosevelt, and went with us to visit the naval hospital. Captain Walcutt drove us around to show the enormous amount of expansion which has been necessary. This hospital was originally built for 900 patients and now has 5,000 beds.
All types of cases are treated here. They have lately acquired some buildings on the old fair grounds, where the men spend a short recuperation period in order to regain their strength before leaving. They have delightful grounds and porches, the food in the mess hall is very good, and I felt that everything was conducive to rapid recovery of the men. The nurses have pleasant quarters, too, which look out on a lovely court with a fountain in the center.
They showed me with pride their own special method of collecting and preserving plasma for blood transfusions.
While I was a bit bewildered by the size of the whole hospital, I felt that it was a most up-to-date, beautifully kept and cheerful place in which to be cared. They had four wards of nothing but appendicitis cases. Many of their patients are new in the service and from camps and stations nearby.
I went through the tuberculosis ward and was glad to find that all the men are now being given x-ray tests, thereby reducing the danger of infection to others. The disease is often discovered early enough for a very rapid cure. Several men there had come from Samoa. Lastly, I saw a number of the most seriously wounded cases, who had come in from the Pacific, some of them from Pearl Harbor, some from the Solomon Islands and the various other islands.
Nearly all of them seem to have such a cheerful spirit that you feel they must get well. I only wish that this hospital could be near enough, so that all the people who are worrying about their sons, husbands or sweethearts, could see for themselves that every care is being given them. The Red Cross has trained medical social workers who visit the wards and are prepared to help the boys in any way they can with specific personal problems.