Elizabeth Cochran didn't like the idea that women can only benefit society by working at home, at the age of 18 , she was already working as a journalist under the pen name Nelly Bly.
As Nelly Bly she wrote about women's issues and right, which was very unusually back then. Little that she know that she will come to make groundbreaking changes in many people's lives. She moved to New York and she manage to get a job at the New York World newspaper.
One of her first assignment was to go undercover at an infamous mental hospital at Blackwell's Island .The hospital's employees had long been rumoured to be abusive , but no one had yet dared to investigate it. With the promise of being released after 10 days, Elisabeth took on the hardest assignment of her life, but she could never imagined how bad it would actually be:
- The hospital housed twice as many patients as it had room for
- Meals consistent of dried old bread , rotten meat, plain broth and dirty water
- And they were rats everywhere
Elisabeth pretended to be mentally ill, but she described the conditions at the hospital as being so bad that it was enough to make any person actually insane. She also meat several women who weren't at all mentally ill, but were just poor or unable to speak English. The women who actually were mentally ill weren't given the care they needed, instead they were abused , beaten, tied up and treated with methods which only can be described as torture.
As a promise, a lawyer came for Elizabeth 10 day later.
Her visit resulted in a groundbreaking book called "Ten Days in a Mad-House, which force the government to enact changes to improve the patients situation significantly. Elizabeth become famous across the country, she continued to write about poverty, politics and other issue that women previously had no opinion about.
Elizabeth inspired many young women before dying from a stroke in 1922 at the age of 57. Two years earlier, she had the joy of seeing women finally getting the right to vote.
Elizabeth Cochran was a woman who always fought for those who needed the most.
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