Medicine: Beads to Steak

When she was two years old, Mrs. Agnes Gregory of Kansas City swallowed some lye, seared the delicate lining of her throat and gullet. The painful burns healed, but new scar tissue gradually filled in the passage to her stomach. After about 25 years, her gullet was so constricted that Mrs. Gregory could swallow only liquids. After 30 years she could swallow nothing at all.

Last fortnight, on a hunch, an unnamed physician at General Hospital tried a simple kindergarten game on Mrs. Gregory. He knotted the end of a fine steel wire, gently pushed it down her throat into her...

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