Nighttime in the Keller homestead in Tuscumbia, Alabama. In the bedroom of dangerously ill toddler Helen Keller, her parents, Captain Keller and Kate Keller, and the family doctor, have been watching by the side of the crib for many hours, and all of their faces show the weariness of this long vigil. The anxious parents are assured by the doctor that their baby will live. The doctor admits that he doesn’t know exactly what is wrong with Helen, simply that she experienced “acute congestion of the stomach and brain.” The doctor and Captain Keller exit, suggesting that Kate get some rest, but Kate hovers lovingly over Helen’s crib, talking to her daughter. Suddenly, Kate realizes that Helen does not seem to be responding to sight or sound. Kate screams for her husband, and when Captain Keller reenters, the two repeatedly, desperately, yell and cry to get Helen’s attention, as the scene fades.
Five years later, in the front yard, next to a water pump, Seven-year-old blind, deaf
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