Op­er­a­tion Car­bun­cle, 1971


One of our guests, Gra­ham Franklin, came back from shooting in great pain with a huge car­bun­cle on his back­side. He asked Mau­rice Rush­ford to take him into Grif­fith Hospi­tal. Mau­rice re­marked: “We have three doc­tors in our group, one med­i­cal, one anaes­thetist and a den­tist. I will ar­range to have your op­er­a­tion on site at 6 o’clock.” The pa­tient agreed. “Any­thing, as long as I get rid of this pain.” Mau­rice im­me­di­ately ar­ranged the pro­ce­dure and said he would per­son­ally su­per­vise.

Dr Ernie Al­dred would per­form the op­er­a­tion, Dr Belcher, the anaes­thetist, would stand by with a ham­mer in case needed and Dr Wood­hart, the den­tist, would stand by in case his teeth fell out when they stabbed the wound.

5.45 pm: The ta­ble has been cleared, white bed sheet to cover, bar­be­cue tools put in hot wa­ter to soak.

5.55 pm: All is now ready. Mau­rice comes in dressed in a white bed­sheet, hat and gloves to match and he is only an ob­server. The pa­tient is wheeled in, put on the ta­ble and the car­bun­cle ex­posed. Doc­tors come in and the rest of the group take their seats ready to watch.

6 pm: Time is now! Ernie stabs at the car­bun­cle and an almighty scream is heard, Mau­rice fainted, all oth­ers scat­ter on hear­ing the scream and see­ing the wound, and oh, the smell.

Mau­rice has now re­cov­ered and is put to bed, all other mem­bers don’t want any tea and the only happy per­son is the pa­tient — no more pain.

At out next meet­ing we de­cide that any ac­ci­dent or in­jury must go to hospi­tal; no more bush medicine for us.

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