Visiting family members in hospitals and sanitoria often proved difficult. Many of these institutions were far from the patient’s homes. Family members would have to rely on the kindness of neighbours and friends to drive them to visit their loved ones. Below are a selection of stories of the lengths family had to go to.

The Wedding Visit

Michael and Theresa O’Sullivan are husband and wife and live on Fairhill on the north side of Cork city.

Michael’s three siblings contracted TB and spent time in sanatoriums. His brother spent 4 years at Heatherside Sanatorium in north Cork before being transferred to St. Finbarr’s hospital for a further 3 years. Two of Michael’s sisters spent between 2-4 years at Sarsfield Court sanatorium. In this piece Michael and Theresa talk about visiting Michael’s sister on their wedding day.

This interview was conducted by Michael and Theresa’s daughter Susan.
"That day we were driven to down in our wedding gear, the car broke down on the side of the road"
Michael O'Sullivan
"He broke into the hospital and found him, but dad didn't recognise him. It was a good few years since he saw him"
Lesley Cox

Breaking into Cappagh

Lesley‘s father, Paddy, contracted Polio around ten years of age. Paddy spent four years in Cappagh hospital.

In this clip, Lesley tells of how her father’s older brother Brian, who had not seen Paddy for some years, made a daring break into Cappagh hospital to see his little brother. Lesley illuminates the extreme measures that some family members resorted to to overcome the long separation from their loved ones.