Surgery: The Man Who Should Have Died

Merchant Seaman Gerald Gormley was practically dead on arrival at Detroit's Receiving Hospital. While fighting off street-corner hoods, he had been stabbed in the back, and the knife blade had slit right through his descending aorta, the main artery that carries blood to the trunk and legs. He was losing blood so fast that his heart stopped beating while he was on the operating table. Though surgeons managed to sew up the aorta and got his heart pumping once more, seven months passed before Gormley left the hospital.

He was still in miserable shape: his weight was down from 180 lbs....

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