On October 19, 1954, Presley, then a 34 year old mother of two, had her atrial septal defect repaired by Swan. She had a third
child several months after the first anniversary of this life-changing surgery. She sent Swan an update each year on that
anniversary from 1955 to 1995. Presley died in 1996, over 40 years after Swan repaired the defect.
Item is handwritten.
Number of Image Pages:
3 (1,756,252 Bytes)
1955-10-19 (October 19, 1955)
Reproduced with permission of Janet DeFelice.
Learning from the Lungfish: Studies of Hiberation, 1963-1988
Letter from Clarabell Presley to Henry Swan (October 19, 1993)
Letter from Clarabell Presley to Henry Swan (October 19, 1989)
Letter from Clarabell Presley to Henry Swan (October 19, 1983)
Letter from Henry Swan to Clarabell Presley (December 12, 1979)
Letter from Clarabell Presley to Henry Swan (October 19, 1979)
Letter from Henry Swan to Clarabell Presley (November 8, 1974)
Letter from Clarabell Presley to Henry Swan (October 27, 1974)
Letter from Henry Swan to Clarabell Presley (October 26, 1959)
Letter from Clarabell Presley to Henry Swan (October 19, 1959)
One year has passed my operation, so as you ask, I am writing to tell you what mischief I've been up to. After arriving
home I felt fine. In fact, I went back to work at the office after only one week. At Dr. Richter's request I did restrain
myself from any physical exercise until after the first of the year.
By the time January rolled around I was really feeling fine, more peer and energy than I have ever had. For the next 2 or
3 months I went dancing, bowling, skating, etc. whenever I wanted to. My children thought they had found a new mommy. We were
able to play and do so many things together.
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Don, my ten year old son got the suprise of his life one day when I rode his bike. He never dreamed I knew how to ride much
less that I was physically able to do such a thing.
We were all very happy and having a great time together until about the middle of March. All of a sudden I didn't feel
good anymore. No one was more surprised than I to find out I was pregnant. Just hadn't counted on it out least not so
soon after the operation. During the first five months I had the usual sickness and tireness[sic], but nothing unusual. In
August I had hay fever followed by a virus that left me feeling rough and rundown. Dr. Richter made me go to bed about four
weeks ago for complete rest. I'll be here until the baby comes -- about Dec. 5th. I wasn't too happy about this but
actually feel better in bed. I do
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have shortness of breath and trouble in breathing, but I'm sure everything is going to be all right. All I want is for
the baby to be all right and for me to feel as good this January as I did last January.
Please let Dr. Blount read this letter or at least tell him about it found want to say hello to him also. I still give thanks
for such men as you and pray for both of you and the wonderful work you are doing. We were all disappointed when we didn't
get to come to Denver this summer. Don't know know when we will be able to make the trip, but if it is important to your
records that you see me again I'll try to work out something. I doubt that you have ever had anyone follow your operation
with a pregnancy so that make my case a little special, doesn't it?
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All in all it has been a good year for I had a taste of what it means to really feel good and know that it will be that way
If either of you ever have occasion to be in Indiana, we would love for you to call and say hello. I hope it has been a good
year for both of you and that you are continuing to have great success in your work.