A Bit of Needle

This is taken from the Cambrian Newspaper in 1856. It deals with an extraordinary operation necessitated by a most singular accident.

It involved a young Irishman who was, as they say, larking about with some young country women.  He grabbed a buxom girl who was engaged in seamstress work and hugged her.But as he pressed her to his bosom it turned into an almost fatal embrace. There was a needle in the breast of her gown which penetrated his heart and then broke off.

He was immediately taken to the Infirmary where it was decided that the remains of the needle must be extracted since otherwise, death must quickly ensue from inflammation of the heart.So Doctor Green cut through the flesh and laid bare the surface of the heart. He could see the end of the needle and so he pulled it out gently with his forceps. Clearly a triumph and such delicate skill mightily impressed the newspaper.

Almost as an afterthought, we are told that since inflammation had already begun, it is very doubtful whether his life will be saved, regrettable perhaps, but apparently less important than Doctor Green’s undoubted skills. Perhaps though the unfortunate incident should, we are told, be viewed as a cautionary tale.

It ought to teach young men before they hug their sweethearts to see that the latter have no needles in their bosoms…The lethal character of Cupid’s darts is a mere figure compared with the puncture of such a tiny weapon.

Wise words indeed.

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