In 1939, a thirteen year old boy called Roger Kingsford was admitted to Nelson Hospital with osteomyelitis, a septic infection of the bone in his right leg. The infection was non-responsive to sulphonamides, the only antibiotic treatment available at the time. Despite a preventative amputation, the infection spread and Roger developed osteomyelitis in his right arm and left leg. During the next few years he became chronically and seriously ill. In the early 1940s, after hearing reports about a new drug which was being successfully used to treat bacterial infections in soldiers, Roger’s parents appealed to the New Zealand government for access to penicillin.