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Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond

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Historical Newspaper Articles

Another case of infirmity under the
treatment of Dr. Quimby.

A few weeks ago we gave a statement of facts in relation to the restoration to speech of a young lady of Brooksville by Dr. P. P. Quimby, of Belfast. Another case of infirmity now under treatment of Dr. Q. has been brought to our immediate notice, the fact of which we have received and here narrate, from the statements of the invalid herself Miss A. M. Buker, of of Castine, who is now at the Hatch House in this city.

About fifteen years ago Miss Buker was afflicted with what is called the “hip disease,” which in a short time rendered her lower limbs nearly useless. Medical aid was resorted to, which resulted in an entire cure of the right hip; but the left hip became more seriously affected and has until recently, grown worse gradually with every year, in spite of all the medical expedients to which she has resorted. The muscles of the hip had become considerably contracted and the leg drawn up several inches shorter than the other. The whole leg became much paralyzed and nearly insensible to pain by any external application. The hip and leg were however subject to very severe pain for years together, causing the patient great mental as well as physical suffering. For seven months she was unable to sleep or repose in bed, and was all the while obliged to rest and sleep in a rocking chair. The deformity caused by the disease in one side sensibly affected the other, causing a distortion of the body which was painful to bear. The whole body was bent forward and towards the left. While in this condition the other leg contracted so much that while standing or resting upon her crutches, (which were her only means of locomotion for about thirteen years) the toes of that foot would but just reach the floor. During the later years of this severe affliction there was hardly muscular power enough in that leg to move it. All she could do with it was while sitting down feebly and slowly to draw the foot towards her chair, the foot sliding along upon the floor, she not being able to slide it from the chair or sidewise or lift it from the floor without the aid of the other foot or the hand. About five or six years after the disease made its first appearance, large swellings, of the nature of boils, appeared upon the leg, one of which on maturing discharge at one time about four quarts of matter. On this occasion the patient was deprived of her reason for several days and her life was despaired of by all. At other times the lower leg was affected with the dropsy, became enlarged to an extraordinary size, and the accumulated liquid flowed freely from several abcesses in the skin.—These circumstances Miss B. states to give a general idea of the effects produced by this terrible disease. But a portion of these long and weary years was she able to perform any work, and that only with a needle.

It is needless to state that a lady in such an unfortunate situation for so many years had resorted to the most skillful medical aid that could be procured, but without avail. Upon one occasion when in Boston she tried an artificial leg, but entirely without success, for the reason that there was not left muscular power enough in the limb to exercise the instrument after it was adjusted.

In this hopeless condition (for so she and all her friends has regarded her case) she passed year after year, her body becoming more and more distorted and feeble, until about six weeks since she went to Belfast and placed herself under the care of Dr. Quimby She began immediately to improve, and has grown better every week to a wonderful degree. The disease has measurably departed from the hip, and the leg has resumed almost its natural length and strength. She threw aside her crutches a week or two ago, (rejoicing at the departure of such long tried and faithful friends) and now she walks with considerable ease and no pain, with the aid of only a small cane in one hand. She lifts her foot with ease, and bears her whole weight upon it momentarily while walking,—a thing which until within a few weeks she has not been able to do for fifteen long years. The reader may imagine the enthusiastic congratulations in which she indulges at the cheering prospect she now has of being completely restored to health. She is apparently in the enjoyment of a new life.

Of Dr. Quimby’s sanitary system we have nothing to say, either of recommendation or disparagement, contenting ourself with a faithful narration of facts such as are well authenticated to us. We briefly explained his system or method of treatment of invalids, which is exceedingly novel, in an article of a few weeks since relating to the restoration of the young lady of Brooksville to speech. Suffice it to say here, that in the case of Miss Buker, detailed above substantially from her own lips, Dr. Q. has used no medicine or matereal appliances whatever, internally or externally—he has not even seen nor touched the part affected. All he has done has been purely by acts of volition, conversing with his patient daily for about six weeks, “teaching her,” as he says, “the use of her limbs and how to walk.” He feels confident that he has obtained the mastery of the disease which has afflicted his patient so long,—that in his mental battle in aid of the proper functions of nature against the terrible disease, he got himself and the mind and most of the body of the patient on the winning side. He believes that their mutual “faith” will yet make his patient “whole.” He says “he is not performing a miracle,” but “a cure,” by the exercise, in a novel way, of those powers of intellect and reason with which the Creator has endowed him in common with all intelligent beings.

Miss Buker will remain at the Hatch House a week or two, where any person interested may obtain a verification of the above statements, and any further particulars of her protracted illness, and of the progress and means of her restoration to health.

Dr. Quimby has taken up his residence in this city, having rooms at the Hatch House, and is in constant attendance upon several new patients in this city and vicinity.

[“1856” is handwritten at both the top and bottom of this article. The internal references would indicate that this article was published in a Bangor, Maine newspaper.—Ron Hughes]

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