Terry Silverman

Cousin of Beth Allen, incubator baby

Terry Silverman's cousin, Beth Allen, was born 2 months premature in 1941. Desperate to save her and with few other options - hospitals of the day had no facilities for premature infants - Beth's parents placed her in the care of Dr. Martin Couney, a neonatal pioneer largely responsible for the now widespread use of incubators. Couney was also a controversial figure, a physician outside the mainstream who for decades operated his neonatal care facility as a 10¢ sideshow in Coney Island. Through the summer of 1941, Terry visited her infant cousin every day at Dr. Couney incubators. In this interview, Terry remembers her visits and the aftermath of Beth's stay in Luna Park.