MAJOR DWIGHT HARKEN GAINS FAME AS HEART SURGEON IN ARMY HOSPITAL: Not all the spectacular service performed in this war is on the battlefield as nearly every wounded man will testify. To the doctors and nurses from the first aid stations to the base hospitals, the medics are saving the lives of countless of men who would otherwise die. A former Osceola boy, MAJOR DWIGHT HARKEN, is not only filling an important place in this system of life saving that is reducing fatalities from wounds to an astonishingly low percentage, he is making medical history. To us here at home, he is still "Dr. Harken's older boy," but in England he is become known as one of the world's greatest heart surgeons! It is probable that he has now performed more of these delicate operations than any man alive.

A special writer for the Hearst newspapers recently wrote of an operation she watched Major Harken perform and the story was carried in Hearst papers all over the United States. In it she described how Dwight removed a 30-calibre bullet from the heart of an American soldier, CARL W. YOUNG of Harrodsburg, Ky.

"Like all chest surgery patients, he had been x-rayed at least a dozen times and had been carefully examined from all angles under the fluoroscope, so the surgeon, Maj. Dwight Harken of Boston, knew the exact size and position of the bullet. Young had also seen the x-rays and knew exactly what was going to happen to him.

"I talked to him before the operation; he did not seem at all nervous. He had been with so many men who had similar operations and had witnessed their rapid recovery that his natural nervousness had been replaced by a feeling of complete confidence.

"His confidence was justified. The anesthetist, Capt. Charles Burstein of Bellevue Hospital, New York, while talking to Young about his home town, gave him an injection in his arm and he went quietly off to sleep in the middle of a sentence.

"Meanwhile, Second Lieut. Shirley Van Brackle of Keysport, N.J., was getting into her sterlized gown, cap, mask and rubber gloves and preparing the instruments. During the operation she stood beside Major Harken, passing him the instruments he called for. "The Operation took almost one and a half hours. It must have been halfway through when we first saw the point of the bullet glowing golden against the reds and purples of the heart and lung. Major Harken seized it with his forceps and out it came, rubbed bright by the action of the heart.

"Immediately First Lieut. Mark Courson of Springfield, Mass., who is in charge of the operating room, washed the bullet, wrapped it in gauze and attached it by adhesive tape to the palm of Young's hand. Patients are allowed to keep their 'foreign bodies' and doubtless Young will bring the bullet home with him as his most treasured and personal memento of the war.

"Meanwhile, Major Harken searched carefully for any scraps of clothing which might have gone in with the bullet, inserted a pug of penicillin and then began the delicate task of rejoining all the incisions. Every now and then I glanced from the surgeon's hands to Young's face. He looked as if he were merely sleeping peacefully and appeared curiously younger than when he was awake.

"He'll be out of bed tomorrow morning," said Major Harken. 'In this hospital chest surgery is going on all day every day. There has not been a single death." As Major Harken said, "In the last war the goal of chest surgery was to save life. In this war the goal is to see how quickly we can get them well."

From the section "News of Clarke County Yanks" in the Osceola Sentinel Tribune



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