Tag Archives: Hektorama

Bloody segregation: the story of how Charles Richard Drew found life abundantly

Amy DeMatt Greensburg, Pennsylvania, United States   Charles R. Drew, “Father of the Blood Bank,” as depicted by Betsy Graves Reyneau.  The portrait hangs at the National Portrait Gallery, and, as described by the Gallery, serves as a “visual rebuttal to racism.” Source:  Wikimedia Commons. Portrait of Charles R. Drew, painted by Betsy Graves Reyneau, […]

All blood runs red

Mel Diomampo Houston, TX   Miss Clara Barton. Mathew Brady. ca. 1860 – ca. 1865. US National Archives. The American Red Cross (ARC) is an independent, neutral organization ensuring humanitarian protection and assistance for victims of armed conflict and other disasters. Based on the Geneva Convention of 1949, its work primarily consists of responding to […]

Traditional circumcision in South Africa

Ntombi Kgosana Phenyo Montsho Pretoria, South Africa   A parked ambulance at Steve Biko Hospital, Pretoria. Image taken by Ntombi Kgosana, January 2019 Traditional circumcision is an ancient and highly secretive practice that serves as a rite of passage and a gateway to manhood in South Africa. It draws hundreds of young men annually, with […]

William Beaumont and Alexis St. Martin

The picturesque island of Mackinac lies three miles off the coast of Michigan, at the junction of Lakes Huron and Michigan. It is a favorite resort where tourists can admire old French-style buildings with tall slated roofs, ride in open carriages pulled by horses that know when to turn or stop, and stay at the […]

Experimental evidence for the humoral circulatory system

Mark A. Gray  Kansas City, Kansas   Four Humors from the Book of Alchemy by Thurn-Heisser, Leipzig, Germany (1574). Source Humoralism, otherwise known as Hellenistic or Galenic medicine, posited the existence of four humors that were required to be kept in balance to maintain health. Blood was special among these humors, believed to deliver both […]

Kokumo: the child will not die again

Odia Iyoha Lagos, Nigeria   The Survivor, by Barrister Chikezie Onwumere, (December 2019). Personal Collection. It was 1838 in the ancient town of Ake, the era of the Abikus. The harmattan wind blew with reckless abandon, tinting everything living and non-living along its course. The leaves turned reddish brown from green, the roofs were caked […]

Anne McLaren, transfusion, transplantation, and the nature of blood

Matthew Holmes Cambridge, UK   What happened during a transfusion or transplantation between different individuals, or even members of different species? For centuries some thought that hereditable characteristics might cross between individuals or species in this manner. This belief found fresh impetus in Marxist biology during the Cold War. Anne McLaren, Oxford-trained zoologist and first […]

Hereditary blood disorders in blue-blood aristocrats

N. Reece Ho-Sheffield Singapore   King George III in coronation robes. Allan Ramsay. Circa 1765. Art Gallery of South Australia. Accessed via Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain. Famous people with genetic disorders have always been a subject of interest, and royalty are often considered the crème de la crème of celebrities. Any medical condition may give […]

Blood, black bile, yellow bile, phlegm: an inseparable balance?

John Graham-Pole Clydesdale, NS, Canada   Visiting the Island of Cos, Greece, 2013 Left: Under the plane tree; top: Hippocratic humors; right: Temple of Cos; bottom: Greek friend bearing sage Life blood: Humor and health In 1960, I entered St. Bartholomew’s Medical School on a full classics scholarship. I was a devotee of Hippocrates, with […]

Blood under the moon: the role of astrology in surgery

Margareta-Erminia Cassani Michigan, United States   Zodiac Man, Homo Signorum, from Guild Book of the Barber Surgeons, c 1486, BL MS Egerton, 2572, f. 50v.  Luminarium:  Encyclopedia Project Imagine your doctor telling you that you need surgery. Then they follow that unsettling news with something, well, a little strange sounding. They tell you that the date […]