My dear brother,
There’s something I have to tell you in a word or two.
Ma hurt her leg getting out of the train — at Helmond1 — high up near the pelvis — in what’s called the head of the femur. I don’t know whether it’s definitely a fracture or just a dislocation of the head of the femur.
The doctor2 came immediately, has set it, and has assured us that there’s no immediate danger, but that it will take a long time. I didn’t speak to the doctor myself, so I don’t know exactly what it is. I was there when it was set, but it went very easily, relatively speaking.
I give you my word that things are no worse with Ma than I’m telling you, and that we’ll telegraph you should the doctor predict any danger. And I’ll send you word every day. When I asked what the doctor said, Pa said it’s definitely a fracture. So you know about it right away; I thought that better than to delay writing to you. I’ll write to you again tomorrow once the doctor has been. With a hearty handshake.

Ever yours,


Br. 1990: 424 | CL: -
From: Vincent van Gogh
To: Theo van Gogh
Date: Nuenen, Thursday, 17 January 1884

1. The town of Helmond is about 8 km to the east of Nuenen.
2. This doctor was A.L.K.H. van de Loo.