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The doctors of the time said that Mary never fully recovered from a case of the measles she had had, and had run a very high fever with the disease. For some reason, this atrophied her optic nerves, leading to complete blindness over a period of weeks.

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13y ago
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12y ago

The doctor felt it was a result of a bad case of the measles that Mary never fully recovered from. She suffered a stroke, which she essentially recovered form all right, but the optic nerves were affected, and atrophied, causing blindness.

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3mo ago

Mary Ingalls lost her sight due to an illness known as scarlet fever when she was a child.

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16y ago

Yes, Mary was blind from the time she had scarlet fever at Plum Creek.

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14y ago

Mary Ingalls was 14 when she went blind.

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15y ago

In 1879, Mary Ingalls became blind.

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Q: How did Mary Ingalls lose her sight?
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Was Grace Ingalls born before Mary Ingalls lost her eye sight?

Yes. Grace was 2 when Mary lost her eyesight at age 14.


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Mary Ingalls had a parotid gland transplant at the age of 14 in an attempt to restore her sight, which was lost due to scarlet fever. The parotid gland plays a role in producing saliva, but the transplant was a medical intervention specific to her case.


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