In January 1964, fifteen-year-old Kathleen Felters from Chicago’s Lawndale neighborhood on the West Side was admitted to the Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium at 5601 N. Pulaski on Chicago’s Far North Side. She was transferred to the sanitarium by bus from Cook County Hospital, accompanied by a nurse.
At the time Kathleen weighed 97 pounds and had just undergone a pulmonary lobectomy, which in her case meant the right lower lobe of her lung was removed. She had had TB for six months before she was taken to Cook County.
Kathleen wasn’t the first in her family to reside at the sanitarium. In all, at least ten members of her family suffered from TB. From the 1940s to the 1960s six were admitted: her father, who died of TB at the sanitarium in March 1957; her grandfather; her uncle’s wife; two of her uncle’s siblings; and her uncle’s niece, who died as an infant from TB.