Medicine: Short Circuit

Five years ago, Crane Operator Henry Ciesla was stricken with amyotrophic lat eral sclerosis, an incurable chronic neurological disease. Paralyzed from the throat down, he was placed in an iron lung at Buffalo's Meyer Memorial Hospital; he was not expected to live more than a year. But Ciesla refused to die. With permanent breathing and feeding tubes in his throat and stomach, he stayed cheerful, watched TV via an overhead mirror. Last week a wall-panel fuse in the hospital blew out, stopped the life-preserving iron lung. Alone in his private room, Henry Ciesla died, on his forty-fourth birthday, unable because of...

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