"The Longest Charity Line in the World"

Maryknoll nurse in crowd, PM 2003.17.2991
Doctor treating child for spinal tuberculosis, PM 2003.17.3176
People receiving tickets, PM 2003.17.628
Nurse inoculating child, PM 2003.17.632

Another of Whitcomb's pet projects was the Maryknoll Sisters’ Clinic, one of a number of emergency medical facilities set up by the international community. This order of medically trained nuns relied on the U.S. army for supplies to treat an average of 2,000 Koreans a day for smallpox, whooping cough, pneumonia, typhus, malnutrition, and spinal tuberculosis—which necessitated body casts for severely affected children. While patients holding clinic-issued ID cards lined the streets, the nuns also made house calls in the community. By the end of the war the clinic had become a full-fledged hospital. Later, the hospital’s founder, Sister Maria Del Rey (also called Mary Mercy Hirschboeck), wrote Her Name is Mercy (1957), an account of the order’s wartime role, in which she described the influx of patients as “the longest charity line in the world” (page 1).