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Florence Nightingale became famous due to her work caring for patients and overseeing the nursing care at the British military hospitals during the Crimean War. However during this time she also contracted Brucellosis. This illness is rare today, and infections can be treated with a course of antibiotics.
But there were no effective treatments available during Nightingale’s lifetime, and this left her with long-term symptoms similar to ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis). However, despite her ill-health she continued to campaign for many years, writing from her bed, using lobbying, personal contacts and her gift for statistics to prove her point.
Inspired by Nightingale, in 2020 the charity ME Action is seeking to illustrate the links between disabled campaigners across the centuries. They are asking people to send in their demands, comments, stories and statistics on quilt squares to highlight the heroic tradition of disabled people campaigning from their beds.
Image courtesy of ME Action