Sarah Jane Wiley

Sarah Jane Wiley spent three decades in the [Lynchburg] Colony, after her aunt accused her of sleeping around. Wiley, who was in the institution with her brother and sister, recalls an operation in 1959, but she thought she was “just getting my appendix out.” In fact, doctors had taken out 6 inches of her fallopian tubes.

A month after she went home in 1976, her case worker told her.

“I’m ashamed,” said Wiley, who became a licensed practical nurse after being discharged from the Colony. “I’m just fed up. I couldn’t believe it.” Again: “I couldn’t believe it.”

Today Wiley is 65, widowed, with dull green eyes and gray hair she keeps swept back. She lives by herself on the top floor of a battered, elegant old house, reading her Bible and wondering how to pay her bills.

“It wouldn’t do no good suing the state,” she said, but if she did, she would seek “about $2,000. It would help me pay off a lot of bills that I got.”


Buckley, Stephen. 2001. “Human weeds.” St. Petersburg Times. November 11, 2001.
<; accessed November 19, 2007.


~ by Serena on November 19, 2007.

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