The Ingalls Family: How Mary Ingalls Got Blind

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Little House on the Prairie“, Known in Spanish as” The Ingalls family “, tells what life was like on the western and northern North American frontier in the 19th century. But, one of the sad stories told in the series is when Mary Ingalls (Melissa Sue Anderson) goes blind and is told in two chapters.

The Ingalls family is the adaptation of the novels by Laura Ingalls Wilder and in the series, the character played by Melissa Sue falls seriously ill and has to undergo emergency surgery, however, she loses her vision. However, in real life, Mary Ingalls never married or was a teacher. Also, according to Little House in the de Prairie, the cause of his blindness may be different from what was seen in fiction. So what really happened?

In real life, the woman went blind at age 14 and her parents sent her to Lowa School for the Blind. The character’s blindness was delayed a bit in the TV series and even the reason behind the woman’s blindness could have been altered in different accounts of her story.

A scientific journal on (NCBI) states that the reason for the permanent blindness caused by scarlet fever is uncertain. Could be “A post-infectious autoimmune phenomenon”. However, it is more likely that Mary Ingalls went blind for another reason, perhaps due to viral meningoencephalitis.

Secondly, In his 1930 memoirs, he mentions scarlet fever only in reference to the winter of 1872. “We took scarlet fever. We couldn’t go to school or play outside, instead we had to lie in bed and take some unpleasant medicine. “. But, he does not mention the bacterial disease in his description of Mary in 1879, the year he lost his sight.

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“Mary was not [a la escuela dominical] in the afternoon, because he was not very well all winter (…) Then, in April 1879, he suddenly fell ill with a pain in his head and it quickly got worse. He was delirious with a dreadful fever. For several days we feared that he would not recover “, says the writer.

Laura Ingalls describes the disease in her memoirs: “One morning when I looked at her, I saw one side of her deformed face. Mom said Mary had a stroke. Then Mary began to get better, but she couldn’t see well. As he got stronger, his eyes grew weaker until when he could sit in the big chair between the pillows, he could barely see. “.

According to Laura, the doctors “They had a long name for his disease and said it was the result of measles from which he had never fully recovered”.

A local newspaper, meanwhile, confirmed in an edition of April 14, 1879 that “Miss Mary Ingalls has been confined to her bed for about ten days with a severe headache. It was feared that the brain hemorrhage had occurred on one side of his face that was partially paralyzed. Now he is slowly convalescing “. A month later, the same newspaper reported that “Unfortunately, although Mary’s facial paralysis resolved and she eventually regained her strength, she never regained her sight.”.

The writer, before the publication of , noted in a letter to her daughter Rose cast on March 23, 1937, that Mary had spinal meningitis, a kind of spinal disease. “I’m not sure the doctor named him. Later, when Dad took her from De Smet, South Dakota to Chicago, Illinois, to a specialist, we learned that the nerves in her eyes were paralyzed and there was no hope. “.

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According to the scientific journal, meningoencephalitis is the most likely cause of Mary’s disease and subsequent blindness. It explains not only his fever and headache, but also the “stroke” from direct infection or postinfectious inflammation of the facial nerve that left one side of his face paralyzed.

An actual stroke seems unlikely, because no other area of ​​the body is reportedly paralyzed. More importantly, meningoencephalitis could cause bilateral optic neuritis through direct inflammation of the optic nerve resulting in slow and progressive vision loss.

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