View Quadangles Print Version →


 

Read Class Notes Online →

 

Browse CLASSPICS

 

 

Past Issues →

 

 

 

subscribeOnline picture

 

 

Advertise with Us →

 

 

Bookmark and Share

 

 

subscribeOnline picture RSS feed

 

Gulp! That’s Hard to Swallow

Plenty of people have swallowed coins. But how many have tossed a beaded crucifix or a spoon down the hatch? Or for that matter how many have ingested safety pins, porcelain dolls, or a 4-foot long window chain? All that and much more shows up in English Professor Mary Cappello’s latest book, Swallow: Foreign Bodies, Their Ingestion, Inspiration and the Curious Doctor Who Extracted Them.

Cappello came across the Chevalier Jackson Foreign Body Collection during a trip to the Mütter Museum at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia more than four years ago.

Jackson, a laryngologist who worked in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, had a near-perfect success rate of extracting foreign objects without causing injury or death to thousands of patients. And he did it without using anesthesia.

“Jackson had a way of being able to calm patients down, especially children,” Cappello said. “He used rigid, brass instruments and proved that the human body is more capacious than we tend to think.”

Her goal was not to offer a definitive piece on the life and career of Jackson, but to peel away some of the layers behind the stories of the objects themselves. She succeeds by approaching the subject with splendid imagery and lyricism.

She researched many of Jackson’s cases through archives held at the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Md., and found more than 40 boxes filled with detailed accounts of Jackson’s patients, such as the 9-month-old boy who survived despite having been forced to swallow safety pins, buttons, cigarette butts and more.

“Reading the background on many of the cases proved to be shockingly illuminating,” Cappello said. “Jackson often reduced the presence of foreign bodies to carelessness, and he didn’t really take into account the complexity of human psychology. There was accidental ingestion, purposeful ingestion, forced ingestion and in some cases phantom ingestion, where people were imagining and even showing symptoms that they had swallowed something that wasn’t there.”

Comments are open, but there are no comments.

Leave a Comment

Most comments will be posted within 24 hours of submission.

Spam protection by WP Captcha-Free

Web Extras

An ‘UGG’ly Affair

Get Paid What You’re Worth

Stu Fitelson ’55: Ageless Athlete

The President’s View

Transformation

Features

Tony Horton: The Face (and Body!) of P90X

Kinesiology

URI’s Amateur Stock Analysts Impress Pros

Making URI a Place Where Everyone Feels Safe, Respected, and Valued

A Recipe for Success

Tucson Shooting Inspires Public Service

Art Heist Expert

News & Views

Alumni of the Game

Gulp! That’s Hard to Swallow

Graceful Cooking

Heat From The Street

Alumni Association Ram Award

Xeroxing Patents

URI Invents Fast, Inexpensive Blood Test

New Medical Physics Degree

Lorne Adrain ’76 to head Rhode Island Board of Governors

Press Box

Bissett Named Men’s Soccer Assistant Coach

Rae Adds to List of Academic Honors

Cloutier Earns Top Basketball Honors in Canada

Needham Named Women’s Soccer Head Coach

Rhody Football Earns 12 Spots on All-CAA Academic Team

Shoniker Named to Capital One Academic All-District I Team

Class Acts Profiles

Larry L. Voelker ’52

Dan Faggella ’09, ’10

Marlon Mussington ’01

David Bill, M.M.A. ’97

Heather Pacheco ’98

Katie Strauss ’09

Back Page

Focus on Nature

Alumni Chapters →

Wrapups

Big Chill Weekend 2011

Upcoming Events

GSO 50th Anniversary

Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament

50th Reunion and Golden Grad Weekend




QuadAngles © 2014 URI Alumni Association. All rights reserved. Produced by the Office of Publications and Creative Services for the URI Alumni Association, Alumni Center, 73 Upper College Rd., Kingston, RI 02881. Phone: 401-874-2242 | Contact Quadangles