“My self is all to me. I don’t have

any need of you.”

–Joyce Carol Oates, I Lock My Door Upon Myself

A remarkable case of self sufficiency

 

Leonid Ivanovich Rogozov was a soviet general practitioner born on 14th March 1934. In 1967 Dr. Leonid went on a research expedition to Antarctica and was the only doctor stationed at the Novolazarevskaya Station and while on duty he developed appendicitis. Dr. Leonid was stranded 1600 km from the nearest Soviet research station when he started the symptoms of appendicitis started appearing and therefore he had no choice but to perform the surgery himself.

On May 1st he began his surgery, and had available with him a meteorologist and a driver who helped him with the utensils and in holding the mirror. Leonid began the operation at 2pm local time and ended at 4pm with several rest breaks because of nausea and weakness courtesy of the local anesthesia applied to the walls of the abdominal cavity, however after all of that he was able to remove his appendix. Dr. Leonid started recovering within 5 days of the surgery and removed his stitches after 7 days. In 1961 he was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labour after his successful self-surgery impressed the Soviet Public.

A rather commendable self-sufficiency case exhibited by a learned doctor, who managed to save his life with the correct use of his knowledge, however here in Pakistan even a group of apparently qualified surgeons with certified equipment would’ve failed first at deciding upon the correct diagnosis and then over the treatment of the misinformed cause- and so they might’ve diagnosed the patient with death from the start, if not anything else.