Harshi,      Dec 8 2017 7:54AM

Premature Babies, Coney Island, and Never Giving Up

Did you know that incubators, used to keep premature infants alive, were used in sideshows at New York’s Coney Island’s attractions?  Nearly 100 years ago, the medical community rejected incubators developed by Dr. Martin Couney.

So instead of giving up, Dr. Couney funded his work with premature babies by putting the babies in incubators on display and charging 25 cents to see the show.  He did this every summer for 40 years!

The benefit was that parents didn’t have to pay for medical care and many children survived who would have otherwise died.  The premature babies were showcased in their incubators at Dr. Couney’s infant exhibit.  Thousands of premature infants were helped by Dr. Couney until his death in 1950…shortly after incubators like his were introduced to many hospitals.

Of course the idea of premature babies as sideshow entertainment is horrendous by today’s standards, but 100 years ago tiny babies just didn’t survive.  When the medical community said “no”, Dr. Couney found another way…unconventional for sure…but he didn’t give up.

The point is don’t give up.  Never.  Dr. Couney was 40 years ahead of his time…but can you imagine if he just gave up?

Leave a Comment