no 4 Canadian General Hospital.
Sept 11th. 1916.
Dear Miss Shand-
I received your welcome letter and am sorry the answer is delayed but I have written no letters for a few weeks. I was interested in hearing about all the different changes that have taken place. I received the paper you sent with the description of the new hospital. The cottages look like cosey homes do they not? My sister did tell me all about the Graduating Exercises and I think it was lovely of Dr. Forster to ask her to present one of the prizes. I think Mrs Clare is getting to be “some sport”, driving a car around town.
I believe the last letter I wrote you was written in bed. I was off five days then and felt pretty well all summer except that we all worked pretty hard and it was so hot. On Aug 19. I took ill almost at a moment’s warning. I had worked all day and when I came off duty I went right to bed and fell very very, sick. A smear was taken right away and the Malaria of a malignant type was found. I was moved into the tent erected for the sick sisters and for a few days I knew what real sickness means. I was just beginning to get a little relief from the Malaria when a wisdom took this occasion to try to come through and as there was not room for it I suffered intensely with it. My face swelled until I thought it would burst and I was unable to close my teeth so could eat nothing. The dentist came every day and did what he could to relieve me but he said it was a condition for which very little could be done. However at the end of four days I felt I had reached the limit of my endurance so they put me on a stretcher and carried me to the operating room where I was given chloroform and Captain Gan dug the troublesome thing out. Of course I knew nothing of it I am thankful to say. It is a week now since it was done and my face is not intirely well yet. I can’t sleep at night for it. I am still in bed and am starting my fourth week. But now I came to the sad part of my letter. I have to drop out of line. They think it best for all cases of Malaria to be sent out of the country as soon as possible so am just waiting daily to start for England. There are six of us in the tent all suffering with the same thing so we will all go to-gether. I wonder if you would please send me Mrs Baillie’s address in England. I had a letter from her but as I can’t get back to my room again I am afraid the letter will be mislaid. I should love to go to see her. After we six get away it will make twenty of the sisters who have had to leave Salonika of our unit. The week before I was taken sick I was aboard a submarine and enjoyed the experience immensely. Tell Miss Coombs that Captain Sparks is also returning to England.
I would advise you not to read this letter to any one as it is most doleful, but I am feeling pretty well myself and I think the ocean trip will do me good. Major Mc Vicar was in yesterday and he is looking splendid.
Must close now, with love to you all,
Lena A. Davis.