As the days dragged on into weeks, Mary’s parents began to worry. She was still unconscious, and her stubborn fever would not break. No matter how many cold cloths Sarah placed on her daughter’s forehead, Mary still burned up like a wildfire. Numerous doctors examined her, but they couldn’t find anything wrong. The family was forced to consider funeral arrangements. But Sarah and Steven would not give up hope. They sat at her beside every day, their prayers never ceasing.
And then Mary fainted. Cynthia tried to lift her, but her unconscious older sister proved too heavy. Afraid to leave Mary but seeing no other option, Cynthia sprinted down the block toward the family home and rapped on the door insistently.
The year was 1928. It was just another ordinary day for the town of Biloxi, Mississippi. The sun shined down brightly on Mary Alice Brandon and her sister, Cynthia, as they walked home from school. Fair skinned as she was, it didn’t take long for Mary to sweat. She was used to that. But the day’s heat was so intense that she began to feel faint.