Pork pie and pop for nineteen days. A Birmingham boy’s strange remedy

A medical correspondent writes to the Globe:- A very remarkable cure of the disease known as Pemphigus Foliaceus has just been reported by a surgeon at Birmingham.

In Quain’s Dictionary of Medicine this disease is described as “Happily rare, for it is always fatal.” The case above referred to occurred in a boy aged 11 years, and the result was a complete recovery.

The remarkable feature in the case is the diet of the patient. That ordered by the doctor, the boy refused to take, and demanded pork pie and ginger beer.

As the patient refused all other food, his mother consulted the doctor as to the advisability of letting him have that for which he longed.

The medical attendant, thinking the case quite hopeless, and feeling sure that the patient would refuse the coveted food when it actually came before him, gave his consent.

To his utter astonishment, the boy ate the pork pie, drank the ginger beer, and then, like Oliver Twist, asked for more.

As he appeared no worse, a second supply was given after an interval of three hours. For 19 days his whole diet was ‘pork pie and pop’ as the boy called it.

Of the former, he ate from 2lb to 3lb a day, and drank about six bottles of stone ginger beer in the 24 hours.

As before stated, he made a perfect recovery. It will now be interesting to see whether the ‘pork pie and pop’ diet will find a place in the new Pharmacopœia as a remedy for Pemphigus Foliaceus.

The Sheffield Daily Telegraph, July 14, 1896.

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