Health & Spirit

Makena Buck

Scott LaFee on

"I know," replied the physician. "I can cure pneumonia."


"After you find out all the things that can go wrong, your life becomes less about living and more about waiting."

--American novelist Chuck Palahniuk in "Choke" (2001)

Medical History

This week in 1984, Baby Fae became the first newborn recipient of a cross-species heart transplant. Dr. Leonard L. Bailey, a heart surgeon at Loma Linda University Medical Center, transplanted a walnut-sized young baboon heart into the young girl, who had been born prematurely 12 days earlier with hypoplastic left-heart syndrome, a lethal underdevelopment of the left side of the heart. A handful of previous adult animal heart transplants had provided recipients fewer than four days of life at best, but Bailey believed the infant's underdeveloped immune system might be less likely to reject alien tissue. Baby Fae lived 20 days before complications caused her death.

Medical myths


Some folks say you shouldn't wake a sleepwalker, that it may cause harm, like cause a heart attack. Somnambulance -- or walking or talking while sleeping -- occurs in stage 3 sleep; that's deep sleep. There's no physical harm in waking a sleepwalker, but it might be hard to do. They may become startled, disoriented or agitated, which may pose more of risk to you. No one likes being woken from a deep sleep, even if they were doing it vertically while moving.

Curtain Calls

Russian physicist Georg Wilhelm Richmann (1711-1753) became the first recorded person to be killed while performing electrical experiments when he was struck and killed by a globe of ball lightning that hit him in the head, killing him instantly.


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