Medicine: Operation for Deafness

A young man lay drowsing on the operating table, numbed by morphine and a local anesthetic. Dimly, without pain, he felt the surgeon's electric drill cut through the bony tissue of his deafened ear. Then "a little pinch," and suddenly a great roar, like the waves of the sea. It was the muttered conversation of doctor and nurses, the first sounds the young man had heard in 16 years. For two weeks he lay in the hospital, gradually accustoming himself to the thunder of swinging doors, the drums and tramplings of tiptoeing nurses.


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