Bro. Branham’s first wife was Hope Brumbach. Together they had two children, Billy Paul and Sharon Rose. Hope contracted pneumonia in January 1936 and died of Pulmonary Tuberculosis in July 1937, shortly after the Ohio River Flood. Sharon Rose, at eight months old, died of the same condition only a few days later. These events had a great impact on the life of Bro. Branham who entered a period of deep depression as a result.
Critics claim that Bro. Branham lied about the events around his wife’s death. Specifically, they allege he lied to his audiences when he claimed he did not know she had tuberculosis until near the time of her death in 1937. They allege he actually knew her condition for over a year, and lied about knowing it. They then go on to use this allegation as a launching point to claim Bro. Branham was a selfish husband who neglected his family. The sole evidence for their assertion is Hope’s death certificate which states the onset of her Pulmonary Tuberculosis was in January 1936.
Pulmonary Tuberculous is a form of Mycobacterial Pneumonia. In modern times, it is easily curable with antibiotics but those drugs were not developed until 1945.
What did Bro. Branham say?
Critics are ignoring the fact that Pulmonary Tuberculosis is a form of Pneumonia in their analysis. Let’s read what Bro. Branham said.
But she taken pneumonia when she went to get the children a Christmas present. And the doctor said she’ll have to lay right here, Billy, ’cause she’s—probably will die if—if she ever moves. But her mother come up and said she was going to move her down to her house. And Dr. Adair said, “She’ll have to get another doctor, ’cause I wouldn’t do it, Billy,” wouldn’t permit it.
…And the flood broke through, and then all of us was put on the rescue to—to work with the flood. We rushed her out to the government hospital where they temporary placed the hospital. The dikes was breaking through; the city was washing away. I’ll never forget those nights. I remember they called me. Both babies was sick with pneumonia, and she was laying sick with pneumonia, out in the hospital there with a fever a hundred and five and both babies sick.
…So they said, “You looking for her?” And I said… Said, “My girlfriend is at Columbus, Indiana, and your wife is laying by her side dying with…?… tuberculosis.” I said, “No, it can’t be.” Said, “Yes, she is.”
…He said, “Well, I’m going to tell you,” said, “you better get ready for this.” Said, “Your wife is going to die,” said, “she’s got TB.” And I said, “That’s galloping consumption.” And said, “She won’t last for just a little while.”William Branham, 50-0820A, My Life Story
In each telling of the story, Bro. Branham is always emphatic that he did not learn about her tuberculosis until after the 1937 flood, but in nearly every telling, he informs his audience that he did previously know she had pneumonia.
This is a very nasty type of personal attack made by critics. This event is clearly very personal in nature to Bro. Branham, and when someone has to stoop so low as to make a personal attack like this, it is apparent that there is something other than rational thinking driving them. Especially when there is a such a reasonable answer. Reasonable people do not resort to personal attacks like this.
In 1930s United States, how was pulmonary tuberculosis diagnosed? It was diagnosed by it symptoms. The chief symptom used to diagnose it was a case of pneumonia that was not responding to known remedies. In other words, the case had to go on awhile before the doctors could be certain the form of pneumonia affecting a person was Pulmonary Tuberculosis.
It is completely fair to assume that when Hope Branham first went to the doctor in 1936, that she was diagnosed with a mild case of pneumonia (which is a common and curable condition and no cause for alarm), but when her case became severe in 1937, the doctors realized the form of pneumonia she had was Pulmonary Tuberculosis. Then at her death, they backdated it to 1936 having realized that is what she had all along.
That seems like a perfectly plausible and likely answer. Why are the critics so closed minded and desperate to find a way to attack Bro. Branham?