Saturday, November 04, 2006

Quite a Nap

The following story appeared in The Ypsilanti Commercial of Friday, November 6, 1891.

The curiious case of Miss May White, a former student of the Cleary College, who has slept continously for the last 127 days, has attracted national attention. In reply to numerious inquiries the editor of the Stockbridge Sun visited Dr. Brown at whome hame Miss White is staying, and October 22, reports the following:

Much has been said by outside papers as to the case of Mis May White, who as slept now over 127 days, and who os still sleepin; the majority of teh said reports, however were erroneous and false. Having received requests from several of the large daily papers of the state for full particulars, a representative of The Sun called upon Dr. Brown yesterday and learned the following facts.

Miss May White is 23 years of age and is the youngest daughter fo Mr. Palmer White of the town of Ingham who is a farmer and also keeps a general country store. Miss White is the youngest of three childern and has a brother and a sister, the latter now attending her. In 1890 Miss White was taking a course in bookkeeping and shorthand at Cleary's Business College, Ypsilanti, and only had a few weeks to complete said term when she was first taken sick of Nephretis on the 4th of August. While there she received an injury by falling on a slippery pavement, which caused an abscess in her side and she returned home. This Nephretis and abscess healed nicely after treatment, but in about three months there developed Hustorq Epilepsy and she would have from one to fifty convulsions in twenty-four hours, which twisted the nerves in all shapes. These convulsions she continued to have for about two months. The doctor had been driving over to Ingham, which is about two miles from this place to treat her twice a day during all this time, and when it had almost used him up he concluded to have her moved to his house in this village, where he culd devote more of his time and attention to the case.

About the middle of July last, she was removed to Dr. Brown's residence in this village, where she now is. About the 20th of last June she fell into this slumber and has been sleeping now 127 days. No one has ever succeeded to awake her excepting the doctor, although several have tried to do so. It took over five hours for his to awaken her the first time; she had then been sleeping twenty-six hours. The average time it now takes to awaken her is twenty minutes. The shorest period tha efforts have succeeded to keep her awake was twenty minutes and longest six hours, which was a few days ago. Today (Wednesday) she has been awake four hours thirty minutes. She has lost over seventy pounds in weight, and last time only weighed fifty pounds. However, she is now gaining flesh, the doctor says, and his opinion is, therefore, that she wear the sleep out and recover. As to nourishment, she is given ordinary diet twice a day. The doctor awakens her three times a day, viz; at 8:30 A. M. 2:30 P.M. and between nine and ten P. M. she will awaken easier if awakened at regular hours. When sleeping she is rigid and if not awakened would die of exhaustion.

When awake she recognizes all and has full power of her senses and spends most of the time reading books and newspapers, until she falls asleep; awakening she will pick up the book and continue to read from the place she was reading from when she fell asleep.

Miss May White is a young lady of sterling character and before going to Cleary's Business College taught several very successful terms in the district school near home and also in Mt. Pleasant schools.

No doubt this is one of the most singular cases on record and it is being talked about all over the world. Sketches have appeared in papers published in Germany, and also other countries in the world. Dr. Brown receives letters of inquiry from all directions, which if all answered would keep a few men busy.


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