The story of 1,300 antique medical instruments donated to the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine continues and Thursday, September 29, 2011 is a day to remember!
Dr. John "Jack" Monroe and his family, who donated the collection, were honored at an "opening" reception of the collection on display on the second floor of the Richard Dean Biomedical Research building where WFIRM is located. There is not enough room to display the entire collection so part of it is in storage but that didn't dampen the mood at yesterday's reception.
Speakers at the event were Dianne Johnson, archivist; John Gillon, senior director of gift planning in the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs; George Christ, education coordinator and professor for WFIRM; Karen Richardson, senior communications officer for WFIRM and Dr. Tony Atala, director of WFIRM.
And while John, Dianne and Karen agreed that this gift has been the hardest one to organize, facilitate and make available - the satisfaction of the Monroe family made it all worthwhile and Thursday's event was the culmination of nearly a year of work.
Guests, mostly employees from WFIRM, also had the honor of listening to Dr. Monroe talk about his favorite pieces. He agreed to talk for only a few minutes but I recorded 17 minutes worth of video on my iPhone which was quickly transferred to a DVD since my phone was nearly dead :).
Since Dr. Monroe practiced obstetrics and gynecology, one of his favorites is the "Lydia's Bottle." Some of his other favorite pieces have to do with bloodletting, a technique used to relieve all kinds of pain up until the 1900s. The least painful way to relieve the patient's pain was with leeches and Dr. Monroe said that many doctors used to carry leech boxes in their pockets to store the leeches as they used them over and over.
Dr. Samuel Vierling, one of the early doctors in Old Salem.
The afternoon ended with food and more stories from Dr. Monroe, his wife Boo - known as the great bargainer - and their daughter, Cloud. Mrs. Monroe would bargain for the pieces, many of which were found at flea markets such as Metrolina Trade Show near Lake Norman and even a flea market in Liberty, NC.
While Dr. Monroe and his family left happy, there still is some tweaking to the display of the collection, according to Karen. So stay tuned!