For the third time within as many months, interest of leaders of the San Mateo County Chapter, Red Cross, centered today in the whereabouts of Albert Slaven, 25, war veteran, subject of an operation by which he was relieved of a mystery ailment. The search today revealed that Slaven was secretly married in San Mateo yesterday, the ceremony being the climax of a romance begun while he was in the San Mateo County Community hospital, where he had been sent through efforts of Miss Helen P. Chesebrough, vice chairman of the chapter and others prominent in welfare work for veterans of the World war.
The operation, performed at the Community hospital, whereby Slaven was declared to have been cured of a recurring mental ailment, was also secured through efforts of the women workers in the Red Cross chapter, many of them well known in social circles. The women had also arranged for a ticket for the veteran to Schenectady, N. Y., where he was to visit his aged parents. It was Slaven's failure today to call for the ticket which precipitated the search for him and the revelations as to his marriage yesterday to a pretty nurse, formerly at the Community hospital, authorities admitted today.
Aided by Red Cross.
The story of Slaven's recovery, while a ward of the Red Cross chapter, which secured his admission into two hospitals within the past three months, one of them the United States Veterans' hospital at Menlo Park, has its beginning, in Burlingame several week ago when the veteran was found on the streets in a dazed condition of mind. Slaven was without shoes and was found wandering in a pouring rain, it was reported by officers of the Burlingame police, who brought the case to the attention of Miss Chesebrough. Investigation of Slaven's record revealed that since 1921 he had been subject to mental lapses and that he had been in Letterman hospital, San Francisco, for treatment at different times. He was for 17 months with the Second division overseas, .having been gassed during a major engagement in the Argonne.
Sent to Menlo.
Through co-operation of the Red Cross chapter, Slaven was sent to the Menlo Park hospital, being discharged some time later as cured. On the same day, however, he was found by Chief John J. Harper of the Burlingame police and was brought to Red Cross headquarters.
Further investigation revealed that Slaven was subject to a mystery ailment which, recurred with regularity affecting his mind for periods of several days at a time. Following these attacks he was normal, his history revealed. Then it was that the Red Cross leaders determined that something more definite should be done for the injured veteran, evidently suffering from a complication, brought on by war injuries.
Under Care of Dr. Baker.
Slaven was placed in the community hospital under care of Dr. Wood C. Baker, of San Mateo, who later secured Dr. Carl Hoag, a specialist, to attend the patient. A gland operation was performed following diagnosis by the specialist and Slaven was pronounced a well man. The gland had been affected by a previous injury, the trouble being complicated by inhalation of poison gas, the physician said.
Slaven was discharged from the hospital, where he had been attended by pretty Miss Claribel Hardenbrook, hospital nurse. A romance, all unsuspected by the Red Cross workers, was budding. Yesterday it culminated in the marriage here at the home of the Rev. C.L. Kloss, pastor of the San Mateo Congregational Church Immediate friends who attended were sworn to secrecy, it was learned today.
Meanwhile, in a further attempt to repay the young veteran for his misfortunes suffered as a result of the war, the women had arranged for his ticket to Schenectady. But Slaven is not to use the ticket, it appeared today. He and the new bride are honeymooning, at least that is all that could be gathered by those enlisted in today's search.
San Mateo (California) Times and Daily News Leader, February 5, 1927.