Medicine: Pain Is Good

Father and mother were both delighted when the boy complained of severe pain in his right arm, and sometimes in the fingers of his right hand. This was just what they had been waiting for.

The parents' reaction was unusual because the patient was unique: he was Everett Knowles Jr., 13, the Little League pitcher from Somerville whose right arm was torn off by a freight train and sewn back in place at Massachusetts General Hospital. But in this first operation (TIME, June 8), the surgeons rejoined only skin, muscle, bone and blood vessels; they left the all-important nerves until later. In...

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