Dear Juanita Keyte

What happens to people who cannot feel pain is truly terrible.

It's worst for someone who is born like that.

A toddler might discover at the age of 15 months that she can gain attention by biting off the tips of her fingers.

Despite her parents' frantic attempts to help her become alert to signs of physical injury, over the years she will damage her little body so much that by the time she is eleven her parents won't be able to look after her any more. She will have to go and live in a special hospital.

By this stage both her legs will have had to be amputated because she will have damaged them so badly. Her elbows will be constantly dislocated, most of her fingers will be missing and her tongue will be cut to pieces from her habit of nervously chewing it.

People who don't feel pain because their nerves are damaged from leprosy have similar problems. Fortunately they are mostly old enough to know how to be sensible. And the disease is very gradual and can now usually be cured.

Yours sincerely 

Virginia R. Claire

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