Amateur Underwater Surgery.

Wheeler "Johnny" Lipes, had neither the formal training, the equipment, nor the urge to become a surgeon.

But when one of his ship mates came down with acute appendicitis 120-feet below the South China Sea, with enemy warships circling above - he had no choice. He had to do what needed to be done or his shipmate would die.

It was the first major surgery ever preformed aboard a submarine. And it was performed by a man who stepped up to the job.

Lipes is pictured with the spoons he used as surgical retractors. Link -via Cynical-C

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I remember reading the story in a textbook we used at school. The idea of cutting someone open and removing an infected organ is dauting even to a medical student - how scary must it be for a "normal" person, particularly underwater while enemy ships are passing along over your head? Mr. Lipes proved to be more courageous than the majority of soldiers indulging in combat (never mind the politicians, calling the shots behind enemy lines).
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Great story. Reminds me of Dr. Jerri Nielsen, the woman who was iced in at Antarctica when she discovered a lump in her breast. She did a biopsy on herself, and administered her own chemo until she could get home for better treatment.

Granted, she was a trained doctor, but the "medical emergency in impossible isolation" is similar.
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