Freak Accident at CHS Ends Well in 1941

(11/26/2001)

Transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer from microfilm of the Calhoun Chronicle dated 4/17/1941.

Pencil Stabs Youth - Just Misses Heart

George Ball, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Ball, of Bull River, 15 year-old Calhoun high school freshman, today probably owes his life to a dull point of an automatic pencil.

Stabbed by the pencil when he fell while playing with other boys during the noon your, the shaft embedded itself almost four inches deep - missing by a hair's breadth the pericardic sac in which the heart is suspended.

Rushed to the DePue Hospital, at Spencer, the pencil was extracted after an operation.  Dr. J.M. DePue said the pencil, because of the dull point, pushed aside the sac tissue instead of piercing it.

The accident occurred about 12:30 Wednesday afternoon and he arrived at the hospital a little more than a half hour later.  When the youth was brought to the hospital, Dr. DePue said each time the boy's heart pumped, the pencil would move back and forth.  It was first believed the pencil had pierced his heart.

X-ray pictures showed the pencil had not entered the heart cavity, and the offending instrument was removed after and operation.

According to the youth, the accident occurred when he got up from the ground, stubbed his toe and fell again to the earth.  No attempt was made to remove the pencil until the operation.

At present hospital authorities say that full recovery can be expected.


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