Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography Page: 14
This book is part of the collection entitled: Rescuing Texas History, 2010 and was provided to The Portal to Texas History by the University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries .
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First he ordered a neighbor to get him a saw, and see that
it was sharp. He told another to put a keen edge on an eight-
inch butcher's knife, the old-fashioned kind with brass rivets in
the handle. I was amazed at his aplomb and lack of haste.
Methodically he arranged for a stout table to be set up in
the middle of the kitchen. Then he had a full tumbler of
whisky brought and held to the injured man's lips until all of it
was drunk. With the patient laid out to his satisfaction on the
table, he opened his pocket case and neatly spread out his instru-
ments. I stole closer to look at them. The forceps, with their
scissorlike handles, looked like a tool I had used many times
while helping my father make high boots.
With one man holding Crawford's legs and another pressing
down his shoulders, Dr. Blackwell made a deep incision across
the mangled arm. Blood spurted and the bystanders gasped.
Dr. Blackwell calmly reached for the pair of forceps and
clamped off the severed artery. Then he half-turned, saw me
staring at him, and said mechanically: "Hold this where I have
Hardly had I got the forceps in my hand than it slipped off
and the blood began to pulse out. Without thinking I again
nipped the artery, and this time held fast. I could hear my
breath whistling heavily in and out as I stood there transfixed,
clinging to the forceps while Dr. Blackwell sawed through the
bone and cut flaps. Presently he stuck a needle threaded with
gut deeply under the bleeding point and ligated the artery.
Then he said: "Let go, boy." To my surprise all bleeding
stopped, and soon the flaps were sewn together and the stump,
heavily bandaged, placed on a pillow.
The roomful of watchers heaved one concerted, thankful sigh.
As the tension flowed away, they began to talk in low and
excited tones. Dr. Blackwell was now smiling. In the midst of
rolling down his sleeves his eye caught mine and he stopped to
pat me on the head.
Here’s what’s next.
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Atkinson, Donald Taylor. Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography, book, 1958; New York. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143566/m1/26/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.