Believe It or Not!
Here’s a story you’ll find inside Strikingly True, page 226.
While on a 1961 expedition in the frozen Antarctic, 27-year-old Soviet doctor Leonid Rogozov saved his own life by performing an operation on himself to remove his dangerously inflamed appendix.
Suffering from fever and a pain in his right lower belly, he quickly diagnosed appendicitis. However, he knew that no aid plane would be able to cope with the blizzards or reach such a remote spot in time to evacuate him, so, as the only doctor at the station, he set about conducting an auto-appendectomy on the night of April 30. He was assisted by an engineer and the station’s meteorologist, who handed him the medical instruments and held a small mirror at his belly to help him see what he was doing.
After administering a local anesthetic of novocaine solution, Rogozov made a 4 3/4-in (12-cm) incision in his lower abdomen with a scalpel. Working without gloves and guiding himself mainly by touch from a semi-reclining position, he proceeded to remove the appendix before injecting antibiotic into the abdominal cavity and closing the wound. The self-operation took 1 hour 45 minutes, and saved his life. If he had left it another day his appendix would have burst. His stitches were taken out a week later and he made a complete recovery.
Even 50 years later, the place where Leonid Rogozov performed his surgery is a pretty inhospitable place. Novolazarevskaya Station, run by the Russians in Antarctica, looks like this on a summer day.
Find this Story in the NEW 2012 ANNUAL – Strikingly True!
Strikingly True features incredible people such as Lucky Diamond Rich and his completely tattooed body, unusual animals like the giant deep-sea isopod, and one-of-a-kind works of art including Rev Mayer’s blood paintings.