21 Aug 2008

A history of surgery

This is Howard Dully at 12 years of age. In December 1960, he became one of the youngest recipients of the transorbital or "ice-pick" lobotomy. This was a treatment for what they considered 'mental illness' and was performed by neurologist Walter Freeman.

Howard was on the first in a BBC series called A History of Surgery, last night and is the only living recipient of this type of treatment - he's now a bus driver and lives a normal life. His stepmother ordered him to have the treatment to 'calm him down and make him behave'. It didn't work as - ironically - his young brain managed to compensate for the lost tissue and he's still a pretty normal guy.

I posted this for some perspective on how hard you think your life can be, and how some people deal with the things that happen to them. Amazing.