Ileen as a vibrant little girl
Contributor: finnsh Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
This story is told by Leah Fausett Jespersen, Ileen's sister.
Leah was two years older than Ileen, (both born in February) and they were inseparable. They sang together, climbed together, played together and slept together in the old iron crib.
When Ileen was around 3 years old she had a siezure, or convulsion as it was called in those days and from then on she was an invalid.
Leah said that the day it happened they were playing on the bed and all of a sudden Ileen started to have a siezure. Her mother (Elnor) called for their father (Barney) to come quickly. Barney held the two little girls in his arms to try to comfort them. He told them that everything would be OK, as his tears flowed with theirs.
From then on she could not eat (chew), talk, walk or communicate with anyone except her mother. Elnor always took such good care of Ileen. She mashed and blended her food so she could drink it, she changed her diapers, kept her clean and groomed, and Ileen would throw her head back and smile so big and brightly at her mother and anyone who was there. Barney had a nick name for Ileen, it was an indian name, "Chi". The kids called her "Leenie".
Leah would still get up into the crib and play with Ileen and occassionly steal her bottle when she felt picked on.
Ileens parents took her to many doctors throughout her life, they even took her to a doctor in Idaho very often. But no one knew how to get her well again. Sometimes Leah would go with them.
Many tried to convice her parents to put her into an institution but they would not hear of it. They would take such good care of her all of her life.
Thirteen months later Dee was born and so they became three in the big iron crib to play together.
Ileen died when she was 38 years old but not without being loved so dearly by so many of her family members.