View Full Version : Mass Hospital School In Canton, Ma

09-28-2003, 04:41 PM
I am interested in anyone that had a spinal fusion at MASS HOSPITAL SCHOOL in Canton,MA in 1973-1974 ish. If so, do you remember it. I am trying to contact some people I remember that were in the same boat as me and wondering what they did with there lives. Ispent 2 years of my life in that hell hole . I can remember them only letting visitors in on weekends only! Prisons have better hours than that!

Joe O'Brien
09-28-2003, 08:29 PM
Hi Oceanbluff:

I had my first two surgeries in the Mass Hospital School in Canton and remained there from October 1966 to September 1967. Literally the entire 16th year of my life.

It is almost impossible to go through the experience back then of invasive spine surgery and an extensive bed ridden period in an institution like this without some difficult memories. As you indicated, limited visitations, curfews, isolation, pain, and inconsistent quality of care can certainly take its toll. Perhaps that is what led one of my roomates who had revision surgery after his first year's scoliosis fusion failed to cut his plaster body cast off with his dinner knife and escape the hospital; never to return.

That frightening evening was only one of many unbelievable things I experienced during my 11 month stay. But not all of these experiences were negative. In fact oddly enough, I can honestly say that my stay in the Mass Hospital School (MHS) is probably overall the most important moment in my life.

At the tender age of 16 I came to realize how blessed my life really was. While my friends and classmates back home considered me to be handicapped and have a tough life, the kids at MHS called me "normie". The reason for the name was because in spite of my ordeal, I knew that at the end of the year I was going back to my home. Meanwhile, the majority of the patients at MHS had no idea where they were going. They were dropped off at the hospital at the age of 5 and had to leave when they were 21. In my discussions with amputees, cp's, parapalegics, spina biffidas, quadrapalegics etc it was not their physical limitations that burdened them but rather the painful ordeal of being abondoned upon their arrival, and the frightening prospect of being abandoned again upon their departure.

I have spent the better part of twenty five years trying to do whatever I can to help people with scoliosis avoid invasive treatments and negative memories. My stay at the Mass Hospital School in Canton is a major part of my motivation, but it was also an invaluable life lesson that helps me keep everything in perspective.

Thank you for your post. I too would like to hear from other scoliosis patients from MHS. Maybe we could get together there for a reunion. In fact, I will be visiting soon because the NSF office is in the next town over from MHS, and we have been notified that some students there would like to help us out. You just never know how life is going to go!

09-30-2003, 08:03 AM
Hi Joe ,
Did you get my reply? I find this a little confusing. The bullitin Board at N.F. is really easy to use.

Let me know if you received it , it was along one and I think I lost it .

Joe O'Brien
09-30-2003, 09:52 AM

Yes, I got your reply but you sent it as a private message rather than a public post such as this one. I also responded back to you as a private message so you can go to your profile (usercp) up top and click on private messages.

I also had Dr. Kilfoyle for my first two surgeries.

08-17-2005, 10:04 AM
Spent 9 months at the Mass Hospital School 1974-1975. Had a posterior fusion of T-3 to L-4 without rods in March 1975. The nursing care was awful and I had several complications before discharge and continuing when I was finally discharged. My daughter has just been diagnosed and I am certainly making sure she is treated at a better facility.