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The Michael E. DeBakey Papers

Letter from Alton Ochsner to Michael E. DeBakey pdf (2,205,163 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Alton Ochsner to Michael E. DeBakey
Number of Image Pages:
2 (2,205,163 Bytes)
1936-04-02 (April 2, 1936)
Ochsner, Alton
[DeBakey, Michael E.]
Reproduced with permission of John Ochsner.
Exhibit Category:
From Tulane School of Medicine to the U.S. Army, 1928-1946
Box Number:
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Correspondence, 1921-2007
Folder: Ochsner, Alton, 1935-1942, 1978-1981, 2003
April 2, 1936
Dear Mike:
I want to thank you for your letter of March 17, which we all enjoyed. I am indeed happy to learn that everything is going so well for you and assure you that we are all very proud of you and the work which you are doing.
I am happy to report that Ernest is getting along splendidly. He is up walking now, although he is having some difficulty because of some stiffness in the joints which have been immobilized for such a long period of time.
I had a nice letter from Professor Kirschner, who is now at Heidelberg, informing me that he would be only too happy to have you in his clinic and stated that he would welcome anyone from the clinic here and is anxious to know just when you will arrive. I suggested to him an exchangeship, but he stated that under the present conditions he thought that it probably would not be best to arrange an exchangeship, but suggested a volunteer assistant instead. If you will let me know exactly when you plan to go, I will let him know when to expect you.
I sincerely hope that you have received your complimentary copy of Christopher's textbook. I think that today Isabel sent you a money order for the check which we received from them. I want you to have it, because you can use it and also because you did most of the work.
I have been terribly busy the past three or four weeks because of a number of unexpected happenings which have taken a considerable amount of time. In the first part of March the Southeastern Surgical Congress met here, which consumed considerable time both before and during the meeting. About this time I also had charge of Dr. Harold Watkins' son, who had a mediastinal abscess following a suppurating lymphadenitis complicating a pneumonia. The Watkins live in Montgomery, but they brought the child down here. There was considerable difficulty in making a diagnosis, and I was stood off by the various internists, because they were of the opinion that such a thing should not occur. Fortunately, however, I was able to strike the abscess on aspiration and successfully drained it. Just as he was getting well, Dr. Duval's only child, Joe, was taken ill with an intestinal obstruction, dating back to a gastro-enterostomy for hypertrophic pyloric stenosis done at the age of two weeks. Six days after his gastro-enterostomy he had a wound rupture with complete evisceration of his intestine. He had one of the worst abdominal cavities I have ever seen. Fortunately, we were able to chisel away the various adhesions, some of which are cartilaginous. We did an enterostomy, and he had a stormy convalescence consisting of a colonic phlegmon of the abdominal wall and a few other complications. He, however, is getting along very satisfactorily at the present time. Dr. Duval kept me at the hospital night and day for five days and would hardly let me get home long enough to take a bath and change my clothes.
A week ago tonight Dr. and Mrs. Dumke, of Ogden, flew down to visit us and left Tuesday night. We enjoyed their visit so much, although it was rather hard to get anything done while they were here. As a matter of fact, I did not attempt to, because I wanted to be with them as much as I could. We couldn't get away very far, however, because with Joe Duval sick, Dr. Duval would not consider my getting out of sight. Last Friday afternoon, however, we drove to Mobile to see the Bellengrath azalea gardens, which were gorgeous. Saturday afternoon Isabel and Mrs. Dumke drove with George and Mrs. Lilly to Natchez for the spring pilgrimage. They enjoyed it very much, and I was disappointed that we couldn't go. Dr. Dumke and I had a great time , however, comparing notes on our cases.
At the present time Dr. Mims Gage is in the hospital with a carbuncle of his hand. He tried to fight the thing out without taking care of it, but finally I insisted that he go to the hospital where I opened it up yesterday and today he is very much better. It hasn't been serious, but it has been rather painful. He was so pleased yesterday when he received one of the nicest bunches of roses I have ever seen from your father and mother. It was indeed nice of them to remember him, and I assure you that he appreciates it.
Let me know what your plans are about leaving Strasbourg and when you will be able to report for duty at Kirschner's clinic.
Everyone in the Department joins me in sending our best regards,
Sincerely yours,
Alton Ochsner
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