Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

A belated reunion

A yellowing page of uncertain date from a Chicago newspaper tells the story of an eleven-year-old girl who had her legs crushed and her pelvis broken in an automobile accident. At the hospital, all experienced surgeons said the case was hopeless. But a young surgical intern undertook her care, visited her every day, and dressed her wounds so meticulously that she recovered. By the time she was discharged from the hospital, the intern had moved to another city, and she was unable to thank him.

It took forty-two years until her two daughters were able by some dogged detective work to trace him and thank him for what he had done. He was by that time seventy-two years old, eight years long retired from practicing surgery in Kansas. He could not remember the case. But her family arranged to bring him to Chicago, as they all wanted to meet him. Before the reunion, he said that perhaps if he could dig up something that looked like the white uniform he wore as an intern, she would know him without a doubt to be the same man as the twenty-two-year-old she had once known.

GEORGE DUNEA, MD, Editor-in-Chief

Winter 2024



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