Eric? Re: [thechat] Interesting way of presenting search resu lts

Joel Canfield joel at
Mon May 27 21:09:00 CDT 2002

> thanks, shirley
> i must've mentioned it only on the admin list (and on my site)
> my son eric, 9, had his appendix out on friday
> it was ruptured, so they're giving him the full course of
> three different antibiotics (morphine too)
> apparently quite routine -- they do several a day here at in toronto

My brother will be pleased to know he's saved another life.

30 years ago, a ruptured appendix had a mortality rate over 95% in the US.
That was the year my brother's appendix ruptured. He was 14. He spent six
weeks in the hospital, given up for dead from about the third day in.

They started every experimental treatment imaginable (and massive doses of
morphine.) Eventually, they realized that a certain combination of
antibiotics was slowing the infection. He was so far gone that they decided
on something pretty radical - they opened his abdominal cavity, and removed
*everything.* After giving the empty cavity a thorough disinfecting, they
replaced everything, cleaning it as they went. Now that the antibiotics were
only fighting what would be considered a 'normal' infection, within three
days he was off morphine, and conscious, and in three more, they sent him

He's 44 now. When he peels off his shirt, he looks like he was on fire and
someone put him out with an axe (in P.E. in High School, he and I came up
with dozens of freakish explanations guaranteed to revolt the big tough
football players. I was the only one who'd take a locker near him ;)

The doctors who treated him wrote extensives papers for the JAMA. A year
later, an older friend of ours (she was about 40, so I mean older than
*him*, not *old*) had her appendix rupture. She was in and out of the
hospital in eight days. The same doctors treated her, and they used the
exact treatment that worked on him - three antibiotics in combination with
morphine. They were emphatic that what they learned working on him had saved
her life, and was destined to become the standard treatement for a ruptured

He's a walking medical treatise - Wolf-Parkinson-White Syndrome (a rare
heart thing), broken back from a two story fall onto some scaffolding, you
name it, he's had it/done it/suffered it. But the appendix thing changed our
lives, and I suspect it's had an impact on some others.

I'm in a pretty emotional state these days; I don't normally reminisce about
the bad old days, but I'll call it therapy if you'll permit.


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