Plutonium Injections – Patient HP-3
Eda Wilhelmina (Lach) Schultz Charlton, born 1 April 1897, is the youngest of four daughters born to August Lach and Henrietta Olsowsky. August and Henrietta were probably married in Germany and came to the US in the late 1890s. They were living in Geneva, NY in 1920 but couldn’t be found in earlier census records.
Eda married Luther F. Schultz about 1917 (1930 census) and they had only son, Luther Frederick Schultz Jr. who was born 4 Mar 1920 (SSDI). He was almost always referred to as Fred Schultz. The family was living in Geneva in 1920 and 1930. They show up in the 1941 Rochester city directory living at 387 Sawyer Street and with Luther as a tool maker. In 1942 they are living at 899 Chili Avenue and Luther is listed as an inspector. They don’t show up in any Rochester directories after that but family members say that Luther died in 1944 and that after he died Eda worked for a short time at Kodak.
Eda was admitted to the Strong Memorial Hospital suffering from a rash, hepatitis and hypoproteinemia (a condition with very small amounts of protein in blood plasma). In the medical records, she is described as having dark eyes and wavy brown hair. She was injected 27 Nov. 1945 with .30 microcuries of plutonium. That is 43 times the radiation that a normal person would get in their lifetime. She was released from the hospital 20 Dec. 1945. On 25 July 1946 she fell down her basement steps and suffered from vertigo for the rest of her life.
Plutonium Injections – Patient HP-4
Jean E. Daigneault was born 9 Feb. 1927 to Ulysses L. and Ethel M. Daigneault. The parents were both born in Rhode Island. Jean’s older brother, Robert, and older sister, Ruth, were both born in Rhode Island. The family moved to Rochester about 1924 where Ulysses was a gold plater. The family would move to a new address every couple of years. Eventually the family would move to Geneseo in Livingston County.
As a teenager, Jean had won the western NY women’s breast stroke championship. Then she contracted Cushing’s syndrome which made her face take on an oval shape plus she gained weight. Doctor’s would put her on a diet of rice and raisins to lose weight. The diet would do nothing except make her frustrated.
Jean was the youngest of the patients to be injected with plutonium at Strong Memorial Hospital. She was only 18 when on 27 Nov. 1945 she was injected with .30 microcuries of plutonium. That is 43 times the amount of radiation that a normal person would receive in their lifetime.
Jean would only live a year and a half more. She died 29 April 1947 of Cushing’s syndrome and was buried in the Temple Hill Cemetery in Geneseo, NY. On her tombstone is the inscription; “A Martyr to Medical Science.”
In 1973 the older sister, Ruth, was asked if Jean’s remains could be exhumed. She thought that was to help on research into Cushing’s syndrome. She wasn’t told anything about plutonium even at that time so she approved the exhumation. On 24 Sept. 1973 Jean’s remains were exhumed and sent to Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago, Illinois. She would not be returned until July 1975.
When I went to the Temple Hill Cemetery to take a photo of her tombstone, the man in the office said that there were two people buried there by the name of Jean Daigneault. In fact it was Jean being buried twice; once in 1947 and again in 1975.