Who is Dorothy Price?
Dorothy Stopford Price was an Irish physician who was born on September 9, 1890. She introduced the BCG vaccine or the Bacillus Calmette – Guerin vaccine, which was specifically used to fight against tuberculosis or leprosy. Dorothy used the BCG vaccine to eliminate impending tuberculosis in the children of Ireland.
5 Facts About Dorothy Price
- Dorothy was one of the few fighters who eradicated tuberculosis during its recognition as an epidemic in Ireland from 1841 to the 1950s.
- Dorothy Price graduated with a bachelor's degree in both midwifery and surgery from Trinity College Dublin.
- Her most notable work was her MD thesis which tackles the diagnosis of tuberculosis at an early stage during childhood.
- She was appointed the consultative medical committee by the Minister of health in 1948.
- She led a committee of tuberculosis experts along with a national BCG committee that initiated the mass vaccination.
Biography of Dorothy
Eleanor Dorothy Stopford was the third out of the four children of Jemmett Stopford and Constance Kennedy and was born in Clonskeagh, Dublin on September 9, 1890. Her mother who came from a long line of church clerics was a civil servant while Constance was a protestant.
Unfortunately, Jemmett Stopford succumbed to typhoid fever in 1902 and Constance had to sell the family house to settle the medical costs acquired during Jemmett's hospitalization. The family then moved to London.
Dorothy Price experienced two world wars, the 1916 uprising in Ireland which established the foundation of the new Irish state, and the Spanish influenza pandemic.
After the family moved to London, Dorothy joined St Paul’s Girls School. She then went back to Dublin in 1915, where she studied medicine at Trinity College. In 1916 she lived in Sir Matthew Nathan’s home, who was a renowned British Undersecretary.
Dorothy learned a thing, or two about social sciences and she started working for the charitable organization society. Using the stock knowledge, she had, she took an examination in Regent Street Polytechnic so she could do further study in arts and design. She passed the exam and was even given the great opportunity to go to the Royal College of Art. However, she did not pass and had only settled in Regent Street Polytechnic.
She realized her dream of wanting to pursue medicine when she turned 25. She entered Trinity College Dublin as a medical student where she had graduated in 1920. Her training took place in the Meath Hospital in Dublin where she encountered the effects and victims of the Spanish flu.
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Dorothy landed her first job as a dispensary doctor in Kilbrittain where she also taught people about first aid. During her stay in her first job, she tended to the members of the Irish Republican Army who were injured due to the Irish war of independence.
Her most notable accomplishment was her involvement with tuberculosis. What sparked her curiosity was the death of her uncle, John Richard Green, who died from the said disease. From then on, Dorothy attended meetings and tuberculosis days upon an invitation.
Upon returning to Dublin, she has begun her honorary unpaid position as a physician at Saint Ultan's Children's Hospital, where she began her research.
She studied and researched thoroughly about the contents of Tuberculosis. This then led her to study the BCG vaccine. This active pace contributed to her earning the title of the chairperson for the Irish National BCG Committee. She later introduced the BCG vaccine and became a member of the Red Cross Anti-TB committee.
Her thesis, which talked about diagnosing primary tuberculosis in children, described up to date theories and practices which had practically made her win an MD. Dorothy also wrote her book titled Tuberculosis in Childhood in 1937. 1000 copies of the book were sold, and Bristol-based publishers offered to produce more since the book was informative and useful to the society.
Marriage Life and Death
On January 8, 1925, Dorothy Stopford married William George Price in St. Ann's Church. Price was a renowned local historian who was a pro-treaty supporter. Hence, it was a surprise to many when they learnt that he will be marrying Dorothy, who was known for being an Anti-treaty supporter. Well, it looks like love also goes beyond one's ideals as they had proven to strengthen their marriage through time.
However, Dorothy discovered that she was unable to deliver a child. She and Liam Price grew old without having any children of their own up until her deathbed. Dorothy died on January 30, 1954, at the age of 63, from stroke. Her burial took place in St. Maelruen's graveyard. A year after Dorothy's death, her husband, Liam Price wrote a book and compiled his wife's fight against tuberculosis.
Eleanor Dorothy Stopford Price's legacy continues to live on as her professional archives were taken in the library of the Trinity College Dublin where she attended school. Her fight against tuberculosis has forever changed Ireland and the people will remember her for that.