By Harvey Deater
Harvey and Russell Deater were hospitalized at Thomas Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia in 1938. The initial studies on the “Deater Disease” were done at this time. Harvey wrote a poem while in the hospital, following the diagnosis and poor prognosis at that time. Copies of the poem were given to Dr. Bob Brown and Dr. Khemissa Bejaoui to mark the discovery of the gene causing HSN 1. Harvey wrote:
As I lay there on my iron bed
And watched time in its flight
From 5 o’clock in the morning
Until 9 o’clock at night,
How very oft’ I wondered
Of the wondrous works of God,
Far past the understanding
Of we mortals on this sod.
Then I wondered if those earthlings,
By some miraculous deed,
Could devise some unknown treatment
That would cure our awful need.
‘Till the day they came and told us
‘Twas beyond the ken of man;
It had come down through the ages
As a part of God’s great plan.
When they told us we’d be crippled
For as long as we drew breath
It really would have been easier
If we’d faced a sudden death.
But our spirit raised and brightened
As out of the door we trod,
For we’ll be healed in the future
By the graciousness of God.