A Plea for Help

In June, 1954 I was sent to the Stanford Convalescent Home on the campus of Stanford University in California because of my severe, chronic asthma.

All new patients spent the first week in the unit with babies and little kids.

While in that unit I met a three year old girl named Gladys and my entire life has been different because of her.

She was deaf and had no fingers on one hand. Her parents had brought her there when she was six months old and were never heard from again.

Gladys was cute, smart, and full of mischief. Back then deaf children were forbidden to use any kind of sign language because people thought that would motivate them to learn to speak and read lips, but Gladys and I communicated with gestures when the nurses weren’t looking.

After that week I never saw Gladys again, but because of her I learned American Sign Language, worked at California School for the Deaf in Berkeley, married a Sign Language interpreter and raised three Deaf foster kids, among many other things.

I would LOVE to find Gladys and get in touch with her again.

If anyone reading this knows anyone who is Deaf or who knows Deaf people, PLEASE share this message with them and ask them to help me find Gladys.

Thank you.

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Janet Ann Collins

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