It may be a little late. But a Memphis doctor has “diagnosed” what was ailing Tiny Tim, the sympathetic character in Charles Dickens’ “A Chrismas Carol.”
Based on Dicken’s’ descriptions of the young lad’s symptoms and common childhood diseases in the 18th century, Le Bonheur Dr. Russell Chesney suggested Tim suffered from a combination of rickets and tuberculosis.
In an article published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Chesney noted Dickens wrote the novel at a time that 60 percent of children in London had rickets and nearly 50 percent had TB.
Crowded living conditions, poor diets, filth, pollution and low exposure to sunlight were common in the coal-burning city, contributing to both conditions.
Chesney also suggested the raise Ebenezer Scrooge gave Bob Cratchit and his family might have helped Tiny Time improve his diet and take cod liver oil (high in vitamin D).