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Baby Doctor’s Wife Seeks Money

February 27, 1998

BOSTON (AP) _ The wife of Dr. Benjamin Spock, America’s best-known baby doctor, is asking for money from friends and family to help pay his home-care medical bills of $10,000 a month, The Boston Globe reported today.

``I’m sorry to say we have exhausted all our resources. Our needs are urgent,″ Mary Morgan, 54, Spock’s second wife, told the newspaper. They live in a $3,000-a-month rented home in San Diego.

Spock will turn 95 on May 2, the day Pocket Books is scheduled to come out with the seventh edition of ``Baby and Child Care.″ The book, first published in 1945, has earned Spock $20 million to $30 million, according to an estimate by Cambridge literary agent Richard McDonough.

Spock has suffered a heart attack and a stroke. Ms. Morgan, who has been married to him for 23 years, also said he had pneumonia six times last year but is mentally alert and not suffering from a specific disease now.

Dr. Stephen Paulker, a Boston internist and cardiologist who oversees Spock’s care, would not comment on his condition Thursday, except to say, ``He has had a number of chronic conditions over the past 10 years which relate to getting older.″

In her letter to family and friends, Ms. Morgan said home ``is the only place where Ben can get the constant care, attention and love that are keeping him alive.″ Home care requires two or three full-time helpers, special foods and equipment, she said.

She said their private medical insurance would cover any hospitalization he might need, but ``if I put him in a hospital, he’ll be dead in a week.″

Ms. Morgan told the Globe her husband made $500,000 last year and spent $45,000 on medical expenses, which she figured would increase to $120,000 this year. She said his total expenses last year were $535,000, much of it for agents and secretaries.

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