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This Baby’s Worth: $103.52

Phyllis Hart & Bill

Remember the days when children were born in hospitals for less than the arm-and-a-leg charged today? Well, technically, Phyllis Hart doesn’t either, but during her visit to StoryCorps, she proudly displayed her proof from 1925.

The StoryCorps Door-to-Door team has had quite a busy February, with the completion of its first month-long Door-to-Door event sponsored by Florida Hospital in Orlando, FL. With eighteen hospitals located throughout the state, 2009 marks Florida Hospitals’ centennial celebration, and as a gift to its employees and local community, StoryCorps was brought in to record a story for every year of the institution’s history.

One-hundred stories in a month? Mission accomplished – and then some! Of the 108 stories shared, Phyllis’ family memories of her 1925 birth in the formerly named Florida Sanitarium are quite remarkable. “I don’t remember it, of course, but I have pictures of the building. It was like a framed house, very small.” Seeing Phyllis’ mother’s hospital bill made it that more memorable:

14 days’ room and board – $75

10 meals – $7.75

Tray service – $0.60

Physician service – $15.00

Medicine and supplies – $05.17

The total cost of Phyllis’ world debut: $103.52.

Now 83 years old, Phyllis misses more than the cheap price tag on childbirth. “Wouldn’t that be nice? When you have a baby you have two weeks just to lay there.” she says.



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